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SEARCH Chair and Tennessee Member Brad Truitt, Active Leader and Mentor, to Receive 2017 Cooper Meritorious Service Award

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Mr. Bradley Truitt—an active SEARCH Member and leader for more than a decade—will be the 2017 recipient of the Gary R. Cooper Meritorious Service Award, SEARCH’s top Membership honorThe SEARCH Board of Directors made the selection at its meeting in January, held in conjunction with our 2017 Winter Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

Mr. Truitt is Director of Information Systems for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the leading law enforcement agency in the state. The TBI’s Information Systems Division (ISD) houses the state repository of criminal history records, supports criminal justice information sharing, and conducts gun purchaser background checks, among other responsibilities. In his role as ISD Director, Mr. Truitt also serves as its Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Systems Officer (CSO), which involves administering the FBI’s CJIS Security Policy within the state.

Mr. Truitt has served as Tennessee’s governor-appointed representative to the SEARCH Membership Group since 2004.  The Board’s selection of Mr. Truitt recognizes his efforts and contributions to the field of criminal justice information systems in Tennessee and nationally—but in particular the significant commitment he has made to the success of SEARCH.

[blockquote]In leading [SEARCH], Brad has demonstrated a strong ability to appreciate all sides of an issue and consider all perspectives before taking a position or making a decision. …As an organization, SEARCH has benefited from Brad’s efforts and his unique leadership style that focuses on building consensus….
— Liane Moriyama (Hawaii), SEARCH Member[/blockquote]

Mantle of Leadership

The Gary R. Cooper Meritorious Service Award honors a SEARCH Member whose work in the field of criminal justice information systems, policy or statistics has been outstanding. The award, named after long-time SEARCH Executive Director Gary R. Cooper (retired), enables SEARCH Members to recognize one of their colleagues for contributions both to the field of criminal justice information and to the success of SEARCH.

For the majority of his 13 years as a SEARCH Member, Mr. Truitt has assumed the mantle of leadership in this organization. He was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2006 and served two terms, after which he served four years as Vice Chair beginning in 2010. In July 2014, he was elected SEARCH Chair and was re-elected to another two-year term in July 2016.

In selecting Mr. Truitt for this honor, the Board cited the following:

  • His eagerness to welcome and mentor new Members and—through a formal Board outreach effort—to reach out to states that have been less involved to foster their active participation in SEARCH.
  • His keen awareness of key issues and initiatives occurring on the national stage—whether it is issues being tackled by the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board, the Interstate Identification Index Compact Council, the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative, or federal legislation that affects SEARCH’s constituency.
  • His key leadership of an effort by SEARCH Members to adopt policy statements that articulate SEARCH’s core values, express the view of the states on key justice information sharing and management issues, and offer a roadmap for how local, state, and federal governments can achieve progress in these important policy areas.

Two of these efforts exemplify Mr. Truitt’s leadership skills. 

Supporting National, SEARCH Initiatives

SEARCH Chair Brad Truitt (left front) led a Capitol Hill briefing that SEARCH held for staff of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

First, in late 2014, Mr. Truitt led a Capitol Hill briefing that SEARCH held for congressional staff of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that focused on domestic violence protective orders (DVPO) and their availability to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). With his expertise from the TBI, Mr. Truitt was able to offer his expertise on the process for making DVPOs and misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence (MBDV) data available to NICS, which is the system that conducts Brady firearm background checks.

“His participation in briefing Congress shows his dedication to continue SEARCH’s dialogue with key decision-makers on the challenges, obstacles, and successful strategies involved in states sharing information with the NICS and other national initiatives,” noted SEARCH Hawaii Member Liane Moriyama, in her letter nominating Mr. Truitt for the Cooper Award.

Second, SEARCH’s policy statements, which the SEARCH Membership adopted in 2014, were the result of a year-long effort spearheaded by Mr. Truitt. They provide thought leadership on what SEARCH Members believe to be essential to a well-functioning, efficient, and effective justice system—including the importance of justice information sharing, integration, and privacy protections. The Board, in particular, is recognizing Mr. Truitt’s stewardship, which was critical to the process to identify and refine these statements. 

Mr. Truitt joined TBI in 2002 as its Audit Director and has served as the agency’s Information Systems Director since 2003. He previously worked for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasure as a legislative auditor, and is a 1997 graduate of Bethel University.

SEARCH will present the Cooper Award to Mr. Truitt at its 2017 Annual Meeting July 25 in Des Moines, Iowa.

SEARCH’s Policy Statements, a year-long effort overseen by Mr. Truitt, articulate the core principles of SEARCH:

SEARCH Values National Cooperative Information Sharing Efforts SEARCH values collective and cooperative efforts by State, Local, Tribal, Territorial, and Federal jurisdictions to share justice, public safety, and homeland security information.
SEARCH Values Positive Identification Via Biometrics SEARCH values use of biometric identification as a foundation for criminal and civil records exchange and criminal investigations.
SEARCH Values the Official Criminal History Record: A State and Federal Effort SEARCH values a nationwide, standardized, and user-governed approach to sharing criminal record information among the States and Federal agencies.
SEARCH Values a National Structure for Criminal Record Background Screening SEARCH values the legal, policy, and operational framework that the Congress and States have established to govern the exchange of criminal justice information for criminal record background screening.
SEARCH Values States’ Responsibilities for Criminal Record Background Screening SEARCH values the ability and right for the States to establish criminal record background check policies, requirements, practices and fees, within the context of a nationwide approach.
SEARCH Values an Effective, Integrated Justice Enterprise SEARCH values the integration of justice information systems, across all levels of government, to enable the more effective and efficient administration of the justice system.
SEARCH Values Decision-Making Based on Evidence, Research, and Data SEARCH values the use of information and research to inform and improve policy and practice in the administration of justice.
SEARCH Values Protecting Privacy and Civil Liberties SEARCH values privacy and civil liberties protections as fundamental to effective justice information sharing.
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