Sheriff Office is pur­suing means of digital tick­eting.
(Photo: Facebook)

The Hillsdale County Sheriff’s office is imple­menting a variety of new tech­nologies to update its systems and streamline its processes. Since the first of the year, the Sheriff’s office has made upgrades to their report-writing systems as well, as their Jail Man­agement Solution (JMS). It also plans to implement an elec­tronic citation system in the near future.

The new JMS called Jail­Tracker replaces the oper­ating system that had been in place for about 30 years. The former system was a number based system that didn’t allow a person to point and click with a mouse on a com­puter.

“It was out­dated,” Hillsdale County Sheriff Tim Parker said. “We could no longer submit crime data to the state of Michigan and that even­tually goes to the FBI.”

The Sheriff’s office was able to also obtain a grant to pur­chase new com­puters to run the system and imple­mented it this past Feb­ruary. Jail­Tracker allows the tracking and pro­cessing of offenders from booking to release. The infor­mation is available to the public online.

“The switch has stream­lined many of our oper­a­tions by pro­viding elec­tronic options that we pre­vi­ously would use paper forms for,” Jail Com­mander Lt. Jason Stiverson said in an email. “My goal is to become paperless. Jail­Tracker pro­vides the ability for elec­tronic sig­na­tures, doc­ument uploading, user friendly dash­boards and sched­uling options.”

On Jan. 1, the office also imple­mented a new report writing system. The Talon Incident Man­agement System or TIMS allows officers to com­plete reports on the road.

“We cover 600 square miles,” Parker said. “Officers used to have to come in and file reports in the office. Now, they can just sit down and type the report in the cars.”

TIMS pro­vides a more stream­lined process and can help with pre­cision when officers are writing reports.

“It could also enhance accuracy from a memory stand­point,” Parker said.

The office plans to go live with another new system soon called e-Citation. Before e-Citation, officers issued traffic cita­tions via hand­written tickets. In order for a ticket to processed by the Dis­trict Court, the ticket had to be phys­i­cally brought into the court. The court then had to interpret the hand­writing and enter the infor­mation from the ticket into their com­puter system.

“The tickets began to look like pretty bad scratching,” Parker said. “This new system allows for a ticket to be printed on the scene and for an elec­tronic version to be sent directly to the Dis­trict Court.”