Office of Homeland Security
McCracken County Joins eWarrant System
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2011) – The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) announced Friday the successful implementation of the eWarrants system in the 2nd Judicial District in McCracken County.
“We’re looking forward to the system being much more efficient,” said McCracken County Attorney Michael R. Murphy. “It will provide an easier and more prompt manner to prosecute cases, especially the older ones that languish when warrants are not served. The quicker you can get a case into the court the more likely you will have a successful outcome.
“The paper system was extremely inefficient and bureaucratic—we have had to release people we know have active but ‘misplaced’ warrants,” he said, adding that 8,200 McCracken County bench warrants have already been converted into the new system this week.
Kentucky’s eWarrant system began as a pilot project by KOHS in 2005 to address a backlog of nearly 300,000 unserved 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.
“It is something that has been a long time coming,” said McCracken County Chief Deputy Mike Turnbow. “We are glad to see it. Whether a suspect is in Pikeville or McCracken County, there should be a hit if it is in eWarrants. The goal is to get the warrants served regardless of where they are. This should reduce the backlog across the state and in McCracken County.”
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, the system administered by KSP and used by law enforcement to transmit and receive information on active warrants.
“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 McCracken County is now part of the eWarrants System, which benefits the courts, law enforcement and citizens throughout the state.”
Since the first roll-out of eWarrants managed by KOHS in 2008, and the subsequent roll-outs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office in 2009 and the current KOHS urban initiative, nearly 250,000 warrants have either been served or recalled.
Service rates for warrants rose from as low as 10 percent under the old paper-based system to roughly 50 percent immediately after implementation of eWarrants, and now hold steady at as high as 80-percent plus system wide.
A total of 108 counties are now connected to the eWarrants system. By Dec. 31, the system will be operational in 117 counties, with the three remaining counties coming online by March 2012.
The eWarrant program is being offered to the state’s rural and urban counties at no cost to local communities.