Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Receives $3.94 Million Grant to Take Kentucky's eWarrants System into Rural Areas

Press Release Date:  Thursday, September 24, 2009  
Contact Information:  Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that his office has received a $3.94 million grant from the American Resource and Recovery Act (ARRA) to expand Kentucky's electronic warrant management (eWarrants) system. The Office of the Attorney General will work closely with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, Kentucky State Police and Kentucky's County Attorneys to install the eWarrants system in nearly all of the state's rural counties. Currently, only six Kentucky counties have access to the electronic warrant system. In addition to improving public safety, the grant will also create approximately 20 new jobs across the Commonwealth.

"For those of us in law enforcement who work day-in and day-out to improve public safety in Kentucky, I am very pleased to announce that our grant proposal was accepted," said General Conway. "This grant will help law enforcement agencies as we combat the scourge of illegal drugs in communities across Kentucky and work to protect crime victims, particularly those in domestic violence cases."

The eWarrants 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.

"We are excited about this opportunity to enhance the current eWarrants system to better serve the Commonwealth in a more effective and efficient manner," said Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer.

Kentucky's eWarrants system began as a pilot project in 2005 to address a backlog of nearly 300,000 un-served warrants in the state and is currently operating in Jefferson, Campbell, Scott, Bourbon, Fayette and Woodford Counties. A backlog in the service of warrants, or a misplaced or lost warrant, could allow a person charged with domestic violence, or another violent crime, to continue to victimize. The eWarrants system has increased the service rates of warrants nearly six-fold in less than a year. More than 62% of the new warrants entered into the eWarrants system have been served, compared to about 10% under the old system.

"The e-Warrants system is modernizing law enforcement in the Commonwealth," said Gov. Steve Beshear. "Kentucky continues to be a leader in utilizing technology to greatly enhance efficiency and improve public safety. This new grant only strengthens the Commonwealth's reputation as a trailblazer."

The ARRA grant 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 money will be used to provide County Attorney offices, which prepare the warrants, with computer network infrastructure, personnel and training on the electronic warrant system.

"I am very pleased that the Attorney General's Office has received this grant which will provide much needed computer equipment for County Attorney offices," said Greg Vincent, Edmonson County Attorney and President of the Kentucky County Attorneys Association. "The enhanced eWarrants systems will be a tremendous asset for rural counties like mine."

The AOC, which provides administrative support to the state's judges, is also pleased that the Attorney General's Office has received this grant.

"The pilot project for eWarrants has been a success and I am excited about the benefits being extended to virtually all of the criminal justice community statewide," said Laurie K. Dudgeon, Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. "I commend the Office of the Attorney General for securing such a substantial grant and look forward to continuing our partnership with Homeland Security, Kentucky State Police and the County Attorneys to implement this important program throughout Kentucky."

This was one of seven grants the Office of the Attorney General applied for to enhance law enforcement initiatives as well as the Unified Prosecutorial System in Kentucky. The Office is still awaiting response on the remaining grant requests.