Law Enforcement Support Center has record-breaking year
The Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC), a national enforcement operations facility administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has just completed a record-breaking year.
The LESC is the Department of Homeland Security single national point of contact that provides timely immigration status and identity information and real-time assistance to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies on aliens suspected, arrested or convicted of criminal activity.
Located in Williston , Vermont , the LESC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The primary users of the LESC are state and local law enforcement officers seeking information about aliens encountered in the course of their daily enforcement activities. The LESC also receives queries from federal, state and local correctional and court systems seeking information about individuals in custody or encountered elsewhere in the criminal justice system. Law enforcement officers have immediate access to alien records entered with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and immigration information from every alien file maintained by DHS – approximately 100 million records – by using the formatted Immigration Alien Query (IAQ) screen incorporated within each state's law enforcement communications system.
Significant FY2007 accomplishments:
- The number of requests for information sent to the LESC increased from 4,000 in FY1996 to 728,243 in FY2007, setting a new record for assistance to other law enforcement agencies. (FY2006 – 661,448) (Total FY2005 – 676,502) (Total FY2004 – 667,453) (Total FY2003 – 594,352)
- During FY2007, special agents at the LESC set a new record of 20,330 for the number of detainees placed on foreign nationals wanted by ICE for criminal and immigration violations. (FY2006 – 14,803) (FY2005 – 12,331) (FY2004 – 15,555)
- Technicians at the LESC also set a new record for the number of ICE records entered into the NCIC database. The records of more than 250,000 previously deported aggravated felons, immigration fugitives and wanted criminals are in the NCIC system.
- Special agents at the LESC confirmed 9,473 NCIC hits during FY 2007, a new record. Immigration detainers are placed on all NCIC hit confirmations. (FY2006 – 6,642) (Total FY2005 – 6,292) (Total FY2004 – 6,122)
Some LESC accomplishments since DHS and ICE were created in March 2003 include:
- Over the past four fiscal years, the LESC has responded to a combined total of 2,733,646 electronic queries.
- In FY2007, queries have been received from nearly 12,000 distinct ORIs (electronic addresses) representing law enforcement agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia , two U.S. Territories and Canada .
- Since November 2004, the LESC has received 413,669 telephone calls on its dedicated law enforcement lines from law enforcement officers around the country seeking ICE information or assistance.
- The ICE Special Agents assigned to the LESC have lodged 63,028 ICE immigration detainers against criminal and wanted aliens over the last four fiscal years; 28,529 of those detainers were placed on criminals or fugitives who were NCIC hits.
- The LESC has received more than 365,800 calls on the ICE tip-line, 1-866-DHS-2ICE, since October 2003.
- Nearly 50 percent of the daily 1-866-DHS-2ICE calls have been identified as viable leads and sent electronically to ICE field offices for action or investigation within 24 to 48 hours of the call.
In addition to providing immigration and identity information on suspected criminal aliens, the LESC offers other vital services, including:
- National Crime Information Center (NCIC) – The LESC administers and controls all ICE criminal and administrative records in this nationwide law enforcement consortium and criminal database. The LESC has entered 188,638 new ICE records in NCIC since March 2003. There are now over 250,000 ICE records in NCIC.
- Investigative Services – The LESC provides support to a host of ongoing ICE and multi-agency enforcement initiatives. Working in concert with ICE field units, task forces, and other local, state and federal investigators, the LESC provides comprehensive database and other enforcement support before, during and after enforcement operations.
- Special Response Tasks – The LESC is the central point of contact for a number of special information requests. For example, the LESC conducts “Brady checks” for the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), screening the immigration status of foreign-born, non-citizen firearm permit applicants before authorizing purchase or possession of a weapon. Since March 2003, the LESC has performed 255,870 Brady checks for the FBI. The LESC also provides daily assistance to the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) by assisting in the screening of persons seeking to visit or work on the White House grounds. The LESC has helped USSS screen 172,341 individuals since January 2004.
- Law Enforcement Training – To help the law enforcement community make better use of information the LESC provides, the center offers an on-site training and outreach program that provides instruction on how to access LESC information and on ICE's role and responsibilities. ICE 287(g) training includes an LESC training module presented by an LESC officer.
- ICE Tip Line, 1-866-DHS-2ICE – The LESC maintains an around-the-clock toll-free tip line for the public to report suspicious activity to ICE. Tip line callers provide information concerning a broad array of ICE investigative interests, including criminal and administrative immigration violations, child pornography, sex tourism, commercial and intellectual property crimes, contraband, smuggling, financial crimes, human trafficking/smuggling, identity and benefits fraud and national security threats.