ECM Solution Helps County Sheriff Lay Down The LawSource: iDatix
Forsyth County is home to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. With an area of 412 square miles and a population 331,859, it’s a large responsibility for the Sheriff’s Office. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) employs 631 officers, administrators, and support staff who responded to 72,947 calls for service in 2007. Departments such as the Enforcement Division, Investigative Services, Detention Services, Court Services, and Sex Offender Registration logged 12,126 bookings, brought 11,145 charges and made 5,165 arrests. They also issued 8,070 citations and 2,433 gun permits with their Domestic Violence Unit responding to 6,176 incidents.
Jeff Wilson is the Systems Administrator for the Sheriff’s Office. Among other things, he is in charge of the records department, the Detention Center management system, the Computer-aided Dispatch system (CAD), and all in-car computer systems. Wilson knew the Sheriff’s Office needed a full-featured electronic content management (ECM) system, so he took the simplest first step. "I just did a Google search on document management systems because we were looking for a solution. We were very open minded about it, we didn’t even ask other people ‘What do you use?’ We looked at several and then at that point we asked some people and iDatix hands down looked the best."
Because of North Carolina state law, physical law enforcement documents must be kept permanently. For example, each inmate that has ever entered the FCSO Detention Center has a booking record that is kept in a folder. FCSO couldn’t store those files remotely in a data warehouse because of the requirements for immediate access. Even if a person was arrested 10 years ago and is then rearrested, the FCSO must be able to pull the file and add to the original record. This requirement created filing, storage, and retrieval issues that were becoming increasingly difficult to manage and costly with current FCSO staffing levels. Wilson sums up the issue, "We didn’t have many indexes, didn’t have control over documents, we couldn’t email from the system, we couldn’t grant access for the agency as a whole to documents."