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2019 Winter Membership Meeting Kicks Off SEARCH’s 50th Year

Last week, SEARCH held its three-day 2019 Winter Membership Group Meeting in San Diego, California, kicking off both a new year and a year that will mark the 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk, Woodstock—and SEARCH.

The Winter Meeting, held January 8–10 at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, drew more than 100 attendees from states nationwide, representing local, state and federal justice agencies, private industry, and partner associations and organizations.  Attendees participated in discussions, presentations, workshops and information briefing; agenda topics included:

  • Current legislative activities of the new 116th Congress
  • Cyber crime and information systems security
  • Computerized criminal history metrics
  • Improving communication, collaboration and cooperation among courts, prosecutors and state repositories to improve criminal history records
  • Interstate sharing of offender information
  • Expanding justice and mental health information sharing as part of justice reform efforts

The week’s events also included a meeting of the SEARCH Board of Directors, which featured the election of a new Board Vice Chair, Major Brandon Gray (New Jersey), and Member, Ms. Lisa Voss (Delaware).

SEARCH thanks its meeting Sponsors and the various companies, agencies, and individuals who participated in the three days of educational workshops and insightful discussions.

SEARCH’s 2019 Annual Membership Group Meeting and 50th Anniversary Commemoration is scheduled for July 22 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport; it will be followed on July 23–24 by a SEARCH National Symposium on Justice Information Technology, Policy and Research.

An event website will be available next month.

SEARCH’s new leadership team is Vice Chair Brandon Gray (New Jersey) and Chair Leslie Moore (Kansas).


SEARCH Executive Director David Roberts (left) leads a substantive discussion of computerized criminal history (CCH) metrics; he is joined by SEARCH Member Matt Ruel (Maine), Dr. Shawn Bushway, University at Albany-SUNY, and Mr. Roger Przybylski, Justice Research and Statistics Association.


Audience members listen to a discussion on justice and mental health information sharing and justice reform featuring (from left) Mr. Andrew Owen, SEARCH; Ms. Nastassia Walsh, National Association of Counties; and Ms. Hallie Fader-Towe, The Council of State Governments Justice Center.


Ms. Mannone Butler, District of Columbia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, relates the challenges and benefits involved in a four-state consortium in the mid-Atlantic region formed to establish a secure interstate justice information system to share data on offenders who move freely across jurisdictional boundaries. She is joined by Mr. Bob Merwine (SEARCH Member-Pennsylvania).


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Karen Lissy

Ms. Karen Lissy is a Justice Information Services Specialist for the Law and Policy Program of SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. In this position, she provides assistance to state and local justice and public safety agencies to collect, curate, and use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data and computerized criminal history record (CCH/CHRI) information for policy analysis and development.

She also guides justice and related organizations in how to craft and implement laws, policies, practices, and technology applications to effectively collect and use CCH and related justice/public safety data; address legal, policy, and regulatory issues associated with CCH data; better manage and operate criminal justice information and identification systems; and develop security and privacy policies that protect justice information sharing systems.

Ms. Lissy has nearly two decades of research and data analysis experience, having led projects and tasks in support of two agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice), as well as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and multiple foundations, including Ford, Annie E. Casey, and Hewlett. Prior to joining SEARCH in October 2020, Ms. Lissy served as a Social Science Researcher at RTI International, as a regional Crime Analyst for the Redmond (WA) Police Department, and as Director of a research program with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Beginning in 2012, Ms. Lissy’s work has focused on improving data in law enforcement to answer policy questions and improve community/police relations.

Ms. Lissy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael Mackay

Mr. Michael Mackay is an Information Sharing Developer for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. As part of the Software and Data Engineering Program (SDEP) team, he plans, develops, implements, and deploys information sharing systems on behalf of SEARCH clients in local, state, tribal, and Federal government settings. He also provides programming, configuration, and testing assistance, and consults on implementation architecture and design with clients. 

Mr. Mackay supports justice, public safety, and homeland security information sharing nationwide through SDEP services that include software architecture and systems design, application development, deployment and support, data management services, and direct technical assistance and training. These services offer capabilities that include federated query, authentication access/control, subscription/notification, process/workflow automation, data analysis, and more. 

Prior to joining SEARCH in 2021, Mr. Mackay worked as a Software Engineering Intern for TDM Business Toole Suite, where he provided software development support using Java frameworks, implemented relational database models using MySQL, and designed GUI components using NetBeans. 

Mr. Mackay will work in an Agile development environment, a methodology that SEARCH embraces that focuses on incremental development and delivery, collaboration in a team approach, and rapid and flexible response to change throughout the development cycle. 

Mr. Mackay earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University, New York.