Division of Criminal Justice Services

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Press Office: John M. Caher
For Immediate Release: Tuesday April 1, 2008


ALBANY – Anne M. Roest, deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, will receive the prestigious 2008 Alfred E. Smith Award from the Empire State Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration at a luncheon on April 9.

Ms. Roest was cited for her leadership in establishing a disaster recovery program to ensure that, in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, New York will retain the ability to process fingerprints.

DCJS Commissioner Denise E. O’Donnell, who nominated Ms. Roest for the award, said it became apparent approximately a year ago that New York lacked an operational disaster recovery plan.

“In an agency like DCJS, where our role in processing fingerprints and identifying criminal histories is crucial, an operational disaster could easily disrupt the administration of justice and jeopardize public safety,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “Devising a reliable recovery plan was, to me, a major priority. Anne Roest embraced this initiative, and brought it fruition promptly and cost-effectively.”

Under Ms. Roest’s leadership, her staff within the Office of Justice Information Services designed and implemented a disaster recovery program designed to ensure continuity of service if a natural disaster or terrorist attack destroyed or damaged the DCJS building, or if for some reason the building was quarantined.

Under the new system, if the primary DCJS site is disabled, all incoming fingerprint transactions can be shifted to an alternate location on the opposite side of the state. Additionally, all electronic fingerprint input would bypass the DCJS site and be forwarded to the FBI for processing.

“From a local law enforcement perspective, the process would be seamless and service would continue without interruption,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “Ms. Roest identified a serious vulnerability and then led her staff in the implementation of an efficient and cost-effective solution. The bottom line significance of this accomplishment is that it has made New York State a safer place to live, raise our families and operate our businesses.”

Last month, another DCJS employee was also honored for her work on this initiative, which is known as the STEPS (State Temporary EFTS Processing Server) project. Nancy Campbell, assistant director of information technology services, received a “Best of New York” award from the Center for Digital Government for her work.

The Alfred E. Smith Award is presented in recognition of outstanding individual service and initiative which has exemplified superior management and administration within

New York State and which has contributed significantly to the resolution of a major government problem, to the development of a major governmental program, or which has effected major economies and/or efficiencies in the governmental process, according to Michael N. Christakis, Ph.D., president of the Empire State Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. Prior recipients include former Department of Correctional Services Commissioner Glenn S. Goord, former Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph H. Boardman and Robert J. Freeman of the New York State Committee on Open Government.

Ms. Roest is the second DCJS official in as many years to win the Alfred E. Smith Award. Last year, Deputy Commissioner Terry Salo received the award for her efforts in developing New York State’s Crimestat program. Crimestat is a performance management system that measures criminal justice performance, the outcomes of crime reduction efforts and the effectiveness of services provided by criminal justice agencies. It is modeled after New York City’s highly successful Compstat system.

“As commissioner, nothing gives me more pleasure than announcing the achievements of the incredible staff I have here at DCJS,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “It is so gratifying when our peers and the outside world come to realize what I know – that the DCJS staff is second to none!”

Ms. Roest lives in Voorheesville, Albany County. Before joining DCJS in January 2005, she spent 19 years with the state Department of Taxation and finance.

The award will be presented on April 9 at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center in Colonie.