Belgium Mobilizes Police With Latest Technology
Client:Belgian Federal Police
- Mobility: Provide officers with mobile technology that gives them the information they need, no matter their location
- Web: Continue migrating major systems to the Web for greater usability, improved ease-of-use
- Security: Wrap everything in a protected environment appropriate to police information
- Integration of existing systems with new technologies (including mobile) and new ways of working
- ISLP, Information System for Local Police, a Belgian system designed to make the work of police officers easier and more fluid
- Coordination with Schengen II, a European information system for coordinating information among international police forces
- Help reduce costs by several million euros over five years
- Centralized information systems
Belgium is a country at the crossroads, and so is its police force. The country, poised between the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, the North Sea and France, integrates four multilingual regions. Similarly, Belgium operates an “integrated” police force that combines its federal and local police forces.
The Belgian Federal Police, with some 12,000 officers, carefully coordinates its activities with those of the local police departments, which employ in total some 35,000 officers. At the same time, the Federal Police department also works internationally, coordinating with the police forces of its neighboring countries.
All this coordination requires first-rate information systems, including communications, mobility, Web technology and cybersecurity. Overseeing this work is the job of Pascal D’Eer, IT manager for the Belgian Federal Police. “In my role as IT manager, I’m looking into budgets … but also the coordination of networking, service, mainframe, data, information, the availability of that information, and security around it,” he says.
With help from CSC, D’Eer and his team recently embarked on a series of IT projects. These included mobility solutions that equip the Belgian Federal Police with the information they need, no matter where in the country they are. Federal police officers now have mobile devices that are not only easy to carry, but also connected with important centralized systems.
Web systems are another major project for the Belgian Federal Police. This is an ongoing effort to improve the ease-of-use of several key systems. Security was also high on D’Eer’s list. “We provide security around everything,” he explains, “because we are dealing with police information … and it’s very important to handle it correctly.”
CSC also helped the Belgian Federal Police integrate several existing projects with new ways of working and new technology. The ISLP, short for Information Systems for Local Police, is among the most important of these systems. Despite its name, the system is also used widely by the federal police. For this project, CSC helped with analysis, solutions and some implementation work. Among the results, the Belgian Federal Police reduced the costs associated with this system.
To achieve the savings, CSC replaced certain systems that the Federal Police had been licensing, and instead provided them on a low-cost basis. Another major system, launched recently with CSC’s help, connects the Belgian Federal Police with what’s known as Schengen Information System II. This database system, operated under the purview of the European Union, allows various European countries (including Belgium) to exchange international information, mainly relating to security, border control and law enforcement.
D’Eer values the way CSC helps the Belgian Federal Police benefit from its wide experience and solutions with other client engagements. CSC’s extensive public sector practice and more than 50 years of experience with business technology solutions mean a lot to the Belgian Federal Police. “CSC understands our business correctly,” D’Eer says, “not only from their work here, but also because they work with other governments and organizations, and they see the links between our business and those.”
That also means that CSC’s solutions are based on technology that’s both stable and tested, D’Eer adds. “I’m very confident that CSC will deliver,” he says, “and that they will do whatever it takes to make things work correctly.”
Those insights can help with planning for the future, too. “CSC’s major contribution is thinking with us,” D’Eer says, “not only architecturally, but also for the future: How will we evolve? What can CSC bring to us?” The answers to his questions will certainly involve coordination, communication and CSC.