Morgan county finalizing paperless warrants

September 15th, 2014 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Business Process Automation | Document and Information Capture | Document Management | Workflow

An Alabama county is testing out paperless warrants. 

Morgan County is helping with final tweaks to a paperless warrant system due to be rolled-out statewide next year, according to the Associated Press. Cary McMillan, a project manager for the county, told the news agency that Walker and Perry counties had also tested the content management system before it went live in Morgan. She stated that with the new system, law enforcement officials will be able to view warrants anywhere, without the need for a physical document. 

Paperless is catching on with local law enforcement and court districts 
Legal authorities such as police and county courts have been transitioning to paperless filing systems in recent years due to the efficiency advantages, among other benefits. For example, in Fayette County, Kentucky, attorneys now file cases electronically, instead of with a pile of legal documents, according to an NPR affiliate. This way documents can get approved fasted than ever before, according to Jason Dufeck, who works for the Administrative Office of the Courts. 

"They can literally have it done within minutes whereas in the past it could have taken up to a week," he told the news outlet. 

Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton states that the transition over to paperless case filing was a "game-changer" for the courts because of their heavy reliance on paper. 

Issuing warrants more efficiently
Now, Morgan County law enforcement will enjoy the same efficiencies as attorneys in Fayette. In addition to providing instant access to warrants, the new document storage system will allow for rapid warrant recalls, according to AP. Chris Priest, a circuit clerk, said that occasionally warrants are issued, and then recalled by a judge. In these cases the warrant can be taken back immediately with the county's warrant management system – ensuring no one is getting arrested when they shouldn't be. 

On average, the county issues about 120 warrants per week, McMillan told AP. Morgan was chosen as the final test site for the new system because of its size – large enough for testing, but not too populous. 

Going paperless comes with a number of advantages, according to the Houston Chronicle. For example, when stacks of paper are removed from the equation space is freed up. Getting rid of paper can open up storage cabinets for other purposes, or clear floor space. In addition, when documents are managed electronically, the chances of losing them are reduced. When you don't need it, and you're not losing old documents, then investments in paper will significantly drop. 

In addition, the advantage that many employees enjoy, including Morgan law enforcement, is the ability to work with documents remotely, the newspaper explained. This is not only an opportunity to improve efficiency, but also a way to boost morale among staff. The simplicity of operations will surely make work less frustrating. 

McMilan hopes that as everyone learns the new content management system, operations will speed up even more for Morgan law enforcement. She also expects that the transition will help the company save on labor, storage and paper costs. Employees will have access to four days of training in order to mitigate any potential learning curves. As the implementation has continues, tweaks have been made to the warrant management program in response to suggestions from users. 

"Everything is moving to paperless," McMilan said, according to AP. "Pieces of paper can get lost. [During] movement of paper from the clerk's office to the sheriff's office and then back to the clerk's office, paper gets lost."

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