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2004 National HIDTA Program Award

Washington/Baltimore HIDTA - Director, Thomas H. Carr

Few individuals involved in the National HIDTA Program have contributed as much as Thomas Carr. Since 1988, he has played an active role in shaping the HIDTA Program and led the way in encouraging HIDTAs to adopt the latest developments in technology and intelligence techniques. His leadership and vision have contributed to the HIDTA Program's success and growth in numerous ways both great and small.

Thomas Carr began working with the staff of the National HIDTTA Program in late 1989 after a distinguished career with the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Governor's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission. During the early years of the HIDTA Program, he used his expertise in drug enforcement and law enforcement intelligence operations to help ONDCP staff shape the HIDTA Program's approach to drug enforcement. When the Washington Baltimore HIDTA was designated in February of 1994, Mr. Carr quickly emerged as the one candidate for Director who could command the trust and respect of the many agencies that would be participating in the newly formed HIDTA's activities.

From the very beginning, Mr. Carr turned to technology and innovative intelligence and investigative techniques to address the challenges faced by the W/B HIDTA region. To improve communication and coordination among initiatives located throughout the HIDTA region (which includes areas of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia), he worked with his technology staff to build a wide area network which today connects more than 400 computers. Realizing the potential of information technology to improve information sharing, he secured HIDTA and outside grant funds to develop the Case Explorer system (a case management/case deconfliction system) and the HIDTA Automated Treatment System (an information system that allows treatment providers and criminal justice system professionals to track offenders in treatment from intake through the completion of their treatment programs after their release on probation or parole). With the help of Dr. John Eck, a nationally known expert on crime mapping and the relationship between crime and place, he established the Evaluation and Crime Mapping Unit (the first of its kind in the HIDTA Program) to assist law enforcement and intelligence personnel in evaluating drug trafficking and crime patterns, conducting geo-targeting studies to identify areas suffering from the highest concentration of drug activity and evaluating the effects of enforcement efforts in targeted areas. He has also taken a leading role in promoting regional and national information sharing efforts, such as supporting the connection of HIDTAs to the RISS network and working with the Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA to promote use of its DIGS data mining system.

Thomas Carr has also distinguished himself as one of the HIDTA Program's most capable directors. His leadership and determination to see that all participating agencies received an equal voice in the HIDTA's affairs was instrumental in unifying the HIDTA during its early days. As participating agencies' commitment to the HIDTA grew, he harnessed this growing sense of unity to build support for addressing several challenging issues. He worked closely with the Executive Board's committees to enhance fiscal accountability at the initiative level and promote an active role for committee and Executive Board members in the budget process. He has been a prominent supporter of the HIDTA's intelligence program, encouraging initiative supervisors to adopt intelligence-driven investigative techniques, assisting participating agencies in building their own information sharing programs and helping to generate Executive Board support for expanding and reorganizing the HIDTA's intelligence program to meet changing drug threats. As the W/B HIDTA confronted the challenges posed by limited funding and large- scale redeployment of personnel and resources following the September 11 terrorist attacks, his quiet example and commitment to fair play were invaluable in preserving the smooth and efficient operation of the HIDTA and its initiatives.

His greatest contributions to the HIDTA Program's management culture have come in the area of performance measurement. Building on the example set by the HIDTA's Treatment/Criminal Justice Program, Mr. Carr has been the driving force behind efforts to develop meaningful and quantifiable measurements of each initiative's performance, actively encouraging the Executive Board and its committees to mandate regular statistical reporting and the use of electronic systems such as Case Explorer and HATS to track progress on key outcomes. His expertise in this area was recognized by the HDAC when he was chosen to lead several committees that played key roles in helping the HIDTA Program to develop the HIDTA Performance Standards and revise its performance measurement policies. In 2003 and 2004, his years of effort in this area culminated in the design and adoption of the HIDTA Program's new Performance Measurement Process (PMP) system. The PMP system is a truly unique achievement, providing a performance measurement system flexible enough to meet the needs of the various HIDTA regions yet powerful enough to provide ONDCP with the data needed to conclusively demonstrate the HIDTA Program's effectiveness. His ongoing involvement in training HIDTA region staff and implementing the new system is sure to pay many dividends to both the individual HIDTA regions and the National HIDTA Program in the years to come.

Mr. Carr's leadership at the HIDTA Program's national level has not been restricted solely to performance measurement. Over the years, he has played an active part in HDAC efforts to improve the HIDTA Program's financial management, intelligence systems and information technology. At the request of ONDCP staff, he has taken part in various efforts to develop improved intelligence sharing (such as planning for development of the National Virtual Pointer System) and has assisted a number of newly-appointed HIDTA Directors in setting up their operations. His dedication to the principles of the HIDTA Program and his determination to help it grow and succeed have won him the respect and admiration of his fellow Directors and ONDCP staff alike.

Thomas Carr's numerous accomplishments have benefited not only the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA, but the National HIDTA Program as a whole. His many contributions have played an invaluable role in making the HIDTA Program what it is today.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005