Patch to improve police efficiency

LISBON — County commissioners are helping the sheriff’s office and other local departments get the software necessary to allow them to communicate information directly to the county prosecutor’s office.

Sheriff Ray Stone, Chief Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble, Salem Lt. David Casto, St. Clair Township Chief Brian McKenzie and Prosecutor’s Detective Troy Walker appeared before the commissioners this past week to explain the importance of the software “patch” which will allow them to upload their reports, photos and other evidence directly to the county prosecutor’s office through a cloud.

Gamble explained the prosecutor’s department recently went with the Matrix Crime Portal, which will allow them to share information within the office and with defense attorneys without the need to use paper.

Gamble continued stating the police departments in the county, including the sheriff’s office, use Sundance as a reporting system. While Sundance and Matrix are different systems, Sundance offers a patch so the two programs can communicate with each other. This will allow the police departments to file their report through Sundance and with the click of a button, upload their report, photos and other information to the Matrix system.

Instead of police agencies having to print out the materials, make copies and have someone from the department drive the information down to the prosecutor’s office, Gamble said the information will already be there.

Commissioner Mike Halleck said he discussed the new system with Gamble and the plans to go mostly paperless. Halleck said the storage in the basement of the county jail in nearly full and commissioners have discussed possibly needing to start looking at constructing additional space.

Halleck said he can see where this will be advantageous as far as both helping their storage situation and making work quicker for law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office.

The software patch will cost $15,470 and will be used by the police agencies with Sundance — the sheriff’s office, East Palestine, East Liverpool, Salem, Columbiana, St. Clair Township and New Waterford. Additionally, it will cost $520 for each department for an annual maintenance fee.

Commissioners unanimously voted to cover the cost of the patch with Halleck noting because the commissioners watch the “nickel and dimes” they are then able to help out.

McKenzie personally thanked the commissioners with helping the departments out with the cost.