General Order 82.3
ACCESS system

Last Revised: 03-01-2017

SUBJECT: ACCESS system

This order consists of the following numbered sections:

82.3.1    Use of the ACCESS system

82.3.2    Regulations for use of computerized crime information systems

82.3.3    Confirmation of computerized system “hits”

82.3.4    Validation of NCIC entries

82.3.1 Use of the ACCESS system

The Central Computerized Enforcement Service System (ACCESS) is a computer-controlled communications system operated and maintained for all law enforcement and criminal justice agencies within the State. The Chief of the Washington State Patrol (WSP) administers all operating phases of the ACCESS System.

I.    Policy

The ACCESS System shall only be used for official law enforcement business. The rules and policies contained in this section are established to ensure proper and efficient use of the ACCESS system. All members will conform to these policies and rules.

II.    Terminal Agency Coordinator

A.    The Department’s CJIS Information Security Officer (ISO) designates a Terminal Agency Coordinator (TAC) to act as the point of contact for WSP and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

1.    The person designated to function as TAC signs the TAC acknowledgement, reads and signs the TAC Guide, and is responsible to ensure compliance with State and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) policies and regulations.

2.    The TAC maintains ACCESS Level II training certification and attends TAC training once every three years.

3.    The TAC participates in and ensures that all appropriate records are available during the triennial audit conducted by the ACCESS audit staff.

III.    The ISO is responsible for appropriate operator performance, adherence to regulations, prompt notification of CJIS violations to the ACCESS Section and subsequent training.

IV.    All terminal users – including mobile data terminal users – will be certified at their appropriate level every two years.

V.    Use and dissemination of ACCESS data

A.    Each user is personally responsible for observing all restrictions placed on the use or dissemination of information received through ACCESS. Queries and/or messages not pertaining to law enforcement business (e.g., personal inquiries) are prohibited.

B.    Members may provide vehicle records obtained through ACCESS to tow operators as specified by Washington State Law.

C.    No member shall use any information obtained through the ACCESS system, including all Department of Licensing (DOL) and Department of Corrections (DOC) information, for private business or personal reasons or furnish any information so obtained to any other person for such use.

VI.    Terminal Security

A.    Maintaining security of the terminal sites and information received from them is the responsibility of agency personnel operating the terminal, the TAC, the ISO, the CJIS System Officer (CSO) and the Chief of Police.

B.    Terminal locations are kept secure from unauthorized access, and all employees authorized to use the system shall be instructed on the proper use of equipment and the dissemination of information received prior to using the system.

C.    Federal and State laws govern the use of the information provided by ACCESS.

VII.    Violations of the policies and/or rules contained in this section; or of the rules, regulations, policies or procedures developed by NCIC and adopted by the WSP; or any other misuse or abuse of the ACCESS system may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and/or criminal prosecution.

82.3.2 Regulations for use of computerized crime information systems

I.    No person, other than those who have been properly certified for use of the ACCESS system and authorized by the Custodian of Records, shall use Department owned or operated computer terminals to access the computerized crime information databases (e.g., WACIC, NCIC, DOL and DOC) for any reason.

II.    Police Services Specialists, the Supervisor IV and all commissioned officers below the rank of Commander shall maintain current ACCESS certification.

III.    Other employees may be required to maintain ACCESS certification, as directed by the Police Administrative Services Manager.

IV.    Approved method of making ACCESS inquiries:

A.    All inquiries into the computerized crime information systems shall be documented and logged as required by the appropriate system rules and regulations.

B.    The records management system automatically complies with the mandatory logging and documentation standard.

C.    Employees making NCIC III inquiries shall use the following procedure only:

1.    All NCIC III inquiries are made through the RMS ACCESS link or the ACCESS terminal.

2.    Employees making an NCIC III inquiry shall enter the following mandatory data when making such an inquiry:

a.    The case number that relates to the inquiry, or the purpose of the inquiry (whichever is appropriate);

b.    The requestor’s name (and the name of the person receiving the information, if different).

82.3.3 Confirmation of computerized system “hits”

I.    "Hit" is a term used to indicate that the computerized crime information system identifies that a subject has an outstanding warrant for his/her arrest, or that property is reported stolen.

II.    Immediate confirmation of a “hit” is required when the Department intends to arrest the subject of a warrant or the possessor of property, or when property is to be seized.

III.    “Hits” are confirmed in the following manner:

A.    Confirming information from other agencies.

1.    Warrants - When a “hit” is received on a warrant from another jurisdiction, the employee confirming the warrant must immediately contact the agency that originated the warrant, confirm that the information is correct, and confirm that the warrant is still active. (See procedures regarding warrant service for additional steps that may be required.)

2.    Property - When a “hit” is received on property entered by another jurisdiction, and the Department intends to seize that property, the person making confirmation shall, prior to seizing the property, contact the originating agency to verify the information.

B.    Confirming OPD information.

1.    Internal - When a “hit” is received on an OPD warrant or property entry, the confirming employee first verifies that the information is current and accurate by pulling the hard copy of the original document from the warrant file or by bringing up the document’s image in the records system. Confirmation is to be completed prior to taking further action.

2.    External - When OPD is contacted by another agency requesting confirmation of warrant or property information, the confirming employee first verifies that the information is current and accurate by pulling the hard copy of the original document from the warrant file or by bringing up the document’s image in the Records system, and then relates the verified information to the requesting agency.

3.    Time frame for external inquiries - ACCESS requires response within set time frames, based on two request categories. For "urgent" requests, employees are to respond within ten (10) minutes of receiving the request. For "routine" requests, employees are to respond within one (1) hour of receiving the request. Should actual confirmation not be able to be provided within a prescribed time frame, the confirming employee shall contact the requesting agency within the prescribed time period and advise them of the specific time when the information will be available. The employee handling the initial request retains responsibility for assuring that the information is supplied to the requesting agency in a timely manner.

D.    Warrants are confirmed by assigned personnel only.

82.3.4 Validation of NCIC entries

I.    All entries that have been made into the NCIC computer system are validated, except entries in the article file.

II.    Entries subject to validation are audited no less than once each calendar year.

III.    The Supervisor IV assures the Department’s compliance with annual validation and State audit requirements.

IV.    Any properly certified Police Services Specialist or other designated employee may be assigned to validate NCIC entries.