The Information Technology (IT) provides technical services to DPS in networking, mainframe, desktop/server support, technical support, data processing, web applications, policy and procedures, and project management. Included in the IT responsibilities are Strategic Planning, Data Security, and Biennial Operation Planning for Information Technology. In addition to supporting DPS, other law enforcement agencies benefit from the technical services provided by IT by using our satellite network and data services to meet their individual agency mission.
The Chief of IT is responsible for providing the leadership in technical support to DPS in various hardware and software applications and ensuring the Department is effectively managing its information technology resources including strategic planning and management.
The two Assistant Chiefs are responsible for supporting the operations and policy management of the information technology systems deployed within the agency.
IT is logically divided into seven areas; each led by an area manager. The following is a brief description of each area:
Plans and Controls Section– The Plans and Controls Section consists of our Customer Account Representatives (CARs), a project standards group, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, Strategic Planning, and policy development.
Overall, this group provides support for policy, project, and disaster recovery planning. The CARs act as 2-way advocates between IT and the customer area. They provide consulting in terms of technical solutions and project development for the business customer. The project standards group supports change management, project planning, project reporting, and our project management methodologies to ensure compliance with the Texas Project Delivery Framework implemented by the Department of Information Resources. In addition, the Plans and Controls Section provides technical writing services.
Applications Section – This section provides custom application development and support for applications that are housed on the enterprise server (mainframe). In addition, this group provides database support for the large databases (DB2 and M204) that run on the mainframe. The applications supported include Computerized Criminal History (CCH), Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC), National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Driver License System (DL), and the Agency’s fiscal and human resource systems. These applications provide critical information to the Agency, as well as all law enforcement agencies across the state and nation. The fiscal business of an Agency this size is a large operation as well.
Client/Server Applications Section – In the client/server environment there is usually a mix of custom developed applications and purchased applications. This is true for this Agency. This group develops and supports custom and purchased applications. This includes the Agency’s website and related applications. This section also provides administrative support through the applications that run in this environment, which are growing in importance for the critical business of the Agency.
Operations Section – This area operates, monitors, and maintains the enterprise mainframe and associated equipment. This section also provides support for the operating system and related software that runs on the mainframe. Capacity planning and performance monitoring are also functions of this group. Thousands of programs execute daily in support of the Agency’s online and batch processes. In addition, this area prints more than 1.5 million pages a month in support of such things as driver license issuance, criminal history rap sheets, and triplicate prescription forms for controlled substances.
Telecommunications Section – This group has responsibility for the networks that attach to external customers, including all law enforcement agencies in the state and federal agencies such as the FBI. These connections are mainly through the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS) and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS). TLETS handles more 1.1 billion transactions a year (more than 3 million transactions a day). Most of this traffic is running on our satellite network that provides broadband service to even the most remote locations in the state. This area also maintains the core network routers that support additional wide area connections to the DPS network. There is 24x7x365 support for the users connected to our network.
Information Technology Services Section – This section provides desktop support, server support and data security for the Agency. They maintain agency wide mission critical applications including the agency’s Exchange E-mail servers.
The Depot leverages best practices in procurement and deployment of information technology resources across all divisions of the agency including the purchase, setup and deployment of workstations, laptops, and servers. The training group provides training on common software tools as well as training for Project Management and other custom solutions. The Enterprise Help Desk serves as the focal point for all information technology questions and issues.