Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



In: The future of law enforcement: A consideration of potential allies and adversaries, edited by J. A. Scherer & J. P. Jarvis, 125-140. Quantico, VA: Federal Bureau of Investigations.


Communication and information sharing are two of the most pressing issues facing the public safety community today. In previous chapters of this volume, authors have made note of the changing public safety landscape as it relates to the need for enhanced information and intelligence sharing among a broad cross-section of organizations. Public safety organizations, particularly law enforcement agencies, have been quick to adopt emerging technologies that have allowed for greater communication and information sharing capacities. While substantial improvements have been made over the decades that enhanced communication and information sharing, many challenges remain in the move to seamlessly integrated communication capacities. The key challenge in the upcoming decades relates to the technical and cultural changes necessary to achieve integrated communication systems. There is no shortage of resources given to increasing the communications capacity of the public safety community, yet serious challenges remain in the degree of interoperability within and across public safety domains. Interoperability has in many ways become the defining issue in the arenas of communications and information sharing. This chapter will provide an overview of critical historical events that placed questions of interoperability and information sharing on the national agenda. The chapter will also provide an overview of national models for information sharing.