Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office Launches Electronic Warrant System in the 19th Judicial Circuit
Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that his office has completed implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in the 19th Judicial Circuit, comprised of Bracken, Fleming and Mason Counties. This brings to 10 the number of counties that have received the eWarrant system under a $3.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded to the Office of the Attorney General in 2009.
Working with the local officials in the 19th Judicial Circuit, 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 system. The first roll-out under the grant was last month in the 53rd Judicial Circuit, comprised of Anderson, Shelby and Spencer Counties.
"The eWarrant system gives law enforcement and the judicial branch the 21st century tools they need to fight crime and better protect citizens," said General Conway. "I appreciate the hard work of my staff and our partners as we continue to implement eWarrants in rural counties across the Commonwealth."
Counties that have the eWarrant system are now seeing service rates on arrest warrants of up to 80% compared to about 25% with paper warrants. More than 62% of the bench warrants entered into the eWarrant system have been served, compared to about 10% under the old 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. With today's announcement, eWarrants is currently operating in 17 Kentucky counties.
"We're very excited that the 19th Judicial Circuit is on the front-end of this project and the support from the Attorney General's Office and Open Portal Solutions has been incredible," said Mason County Attorney John Estill. "The fact that we now can have a warrant in the system within moments, rather than days, will help us better protect the public."
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 19th 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 rural 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
*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.