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ICE Looking to AI, Automation to Improve Homeland Security Investigations Call Center Operations

HSI Tip Line improvement

ICE Looking to AI, Automation to Improve Homeland Security Investigations Call Center Operations

The Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement is exploring artificial intelligence and automation to modernize its operations.

The call center is used by the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE to identify and track leads on human trafficking, terrorism, cybersecurity crimes and money laundering.

In an interview, HSI Tip Line Unit Chief Jody Fasenmyer said the ICE is looking to AI processes to reduce the burden of human workers performing rote tasks, GovernmentCIO Media & Research reported.

Through the HSI Tip Line, any individual can provide tips or information. Anyone can also fill out the call center’s online form, which is found on the ICE website.

Callers are queued by priority, which is usually determined by time sensitivity. For example, if a caller is a sex trafficking victim, he or she could be bumped up the queue and be prioritized.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the HSI Tip Line received and processed more than 3,000 phone calls and 2,500 online tips per week. When lockdown orders were imposed, the figures dropped.

However, Fasenmyer believes that the number will again increase as daily operations resume.

The HSI Tip Line chief hopes that AI and automation could help analysts categorize tips based on type and reduce processing time.

According to Fasenmyer, the tip line lacks information technology infrastructure for management purposes.

To address the problem, the tip line is working with the HSI Innovation Lab to create new tools and processes that could improve the group’s efficiency. People working on the initiative are now exploring ways to standardize web forms, automate the dissemination of tip reports to field agents and centralize data flows.

Currently, the tip line can handle operations remotely, something that Fasenmyer and her team worked on during the pandemic. 

The crisis allowed the HSI Tip Line to explore new technologies that allow analysts to work remotely and improve operations, Fasenmyer said.

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Tags: artificial intelligence automation call center operations cybersecurity crimes Department of Homeland Security federal civilian GovernmentCIO Media & Research HSI Innovation Lab HSI Tip Line human trafficking ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement Jody Fasenmyer money laundering terrorism