Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office, Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Launch eWarrants in Knox and Laurel Counties
Attorney General Jack Conway announced today the successful implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in the 27TH Judicial Circuit (Knox and Laurel counties).
The Attorney General's Office funded implementation of eWarrants in Knox County 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 Laurel County, an urban area that is not covered by the ARRA grant.
This brings to 115 the number of Kentucky counties utilizing eWarrants. Ninety-nine of the counties received eWarrants under the Attorney General's ARRA grant.
"With the successful launch of eWarrants in Knox County, we have nearly reached our goal of implementing this important law enforcement tool in 100 rural communities across Kentucky," said General Conway. "More than 90 percent of the state's population now has access to eWarrants."
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.
"We're pleased that Laurel County is now part of the eWarrants system, which benefits the courts, law enforcement and citizens throughout the state," said Gene Kiser, KOHS acting executive director. "eWarrants has revolutionized the process for issuing, tracking and serving warrants in the Commonwealth"
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 650,000 warrants/summons have been entered into the eWarrant system.
"eWarrants will unify our process," said Charlie Dixon, Knox County Attorney. "I've been doing this for 22 years and this will be the first time everybody involved in the judicial process will be reading off of the same page. We're totally paperless from a criminal standpoint in Knox County."
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 Knox County, 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.