Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office, Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Launch eWarrants in Five More West Kentucky Counties
Attorney General Jack Conway announced today the successful implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in the 38th Judicial Circuit (Butler, Edmonson, Hancock and Ohio counties) and in the 6th Judicial Circuit (Daviess County).
The Attorney General's Office funded implementation of eWarrants in Butler, Edmonson, Hancock and Ohio counties under a $3.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded to the Office of the Attorney General in 2009. The Office of Homeland Security launched eWarrants in Daviess County, an urban area that is not covered by the ARRA grant.
This brings to 98 the number of Kentucky counties utilizing eWarrants. Eighty-five of the counties received eWarrants under the Attorney General's ARRA grant.
"With yesterday's successful launch in the 38th Judicial Circuit, we have now implemented eWarrants in all of West Kentucky's rural counties and are nearing our goal of launching eWarrants in 100 rural counties by year's end," said General Conway. "eWarrants is an important tool that benefits law enforcement, the prosecutorial community and the public."
The Office of the Attorney General, in partnership with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and Open Portal Solutions, Inc., provided training and support for the new electronic warrant management system.
The eWarrant system facilitates the sharing of information among all law enforcement concerning active warrants in jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth. It replaces the manual protocols for processing warrant information with an electronic method for making warrants available via the Law Enforcement Information Network of Kentucky (LINK), the system administered by Kentucky State Police and used by law enforcement to transmit and retrieve information on active warrants.
Service rates for warrants rise from as low as 10 percent under the old system to roughly 50 percent immediately after implementation of eWarrants, and as high as 80 percent in the long-term. More than 524,000 warrants/summons have been entered into the eWarrant system.
"This program has revolutionized the process for issuing, tracking and serving warrants in the Commonwealth," said Gene Kiser, KOHS acting executive director. "We're pleased that Daviess County is now part of the eWarrants system, which benefits the courts, law enforcement and citizens throughout the state."
With the successful launch of eWarrants in the 38th and 6th judicial circuits, more than 8,700 warrants were added to the system and are now ready to be served.
"eWarrants makes it much more efficient to deliver and serve court documents and allows us to better track documents," said Edmonson County Attorney Greg Vincent. "The system also increases the speed at which warrants are served. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved."
Hancock County Attorney Paul Madden is also supportive of the new system.
"This will really expedite the service of warrants and criminal summons," said Madden. "eWarrants eliminates the delays we experience when judges have to physically travel from one county to another to sign warrants. They can now do it electronically."
Kentucky's eWarrant system began as a pilot project in 2005 to address a backlog of nearly 300,000 un-served warrants in the state. A backlog in the service of warrants, or a misplaced or lost warrant, could allow a person charged with a violent crime to evade arrest and continue to victimize Kentucky citizens.
The ARRA grant, which provided funding for implementation and training in the 38th Judicial Circuit, was awarded from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance under the category of Facilitating Rural Justice Information Sharing. Under this category, the Bureau of Justice Assistance makes awards to help law enforcement in rural areas to improve the criminal justice system by aiding communities in combating crime and drugs.
The eWarrant program is being offered to Kentucky's counties at no cost to local communities. In addition to modernizing law enforcement infrastructure, the ARRA grant has created 16 jobs for citizens of the Commonwealth. Individuals may obtain more information about eWarrants by filling out the eWarrant contact form on the Attorney's General's website at http://ag.ky.gov/ewarrants or visit http://homelandsecurity.ky.gov.
* This project was supported by award No. 2009-SD-B9-0067, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice.