Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office Launches eWarrants in McCreary, Whitley and Bell Counties

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, November 02, 2011  
Contact Information:  Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659(office)
 


Attorney General Jack Conway announced today the successful implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in the 34TH (McCreary and Whitley counties) and 44th (Bell County) judicial circuits.

The Attorney General's Office funded implementation of eWarrants in McCreary, Whitley and Bell counties under a $3.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded to the Office of the Attorney General in 2009.

This brings to 110 the number of Kentucky counties utilizing eWarrants. Ninety-seven of the counties received eWarrants under the Attorney General's ARRA grant.

"With today's successful launch, 3.7 million Kentuckians, or 86 percent of the state's population, now benefit from the eWarrant system," said General Conway. "I appreciate the hard work of my staff and support we have received from local officials as we implemented this important law enforcement tool in rural communities across Kentucky."

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 590,000 warrants/summons have been entered into the eWarrant system.

"eWarrants will be a big help to local law enforcement," said Bell County Attorney Neil Ward. "No matter where someone is caught or stopped, if there is a warrant out on them, it will be available instantaneously. That's important for a large, rural county like Bell."

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 34th and 44th judicial circuits, 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.