A group of Georgia sheriffs departments will soon have access to a central database of each other’s incident reports, jail records and other data.
The idea is to share information to cut down on constant calls back and forth and mailing warrants and other documents.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said having instant access to other sheriffs’ reports, jail records and warrants saves a lot of time.
“No other entity in the criminal justice system has as much information as the sheriffs do. So you come up with a name of a suspect or something like that, there’s no way to check that short of knowing where that person’s from or sitting down [and] calling 159 counties," Sills said.
The database is based on a previous one among about 20 middle Georgia sheriffs with compatible software. Sills said as many as 70 departments have that software now and could easily access the new system.
The Georgia Sheriff’s Association asked lawmakers this year to create a statewide records database, but the proposal died in the House.
“Our legislature wasn’t really interested in it, apparently, at least the House wasn’t, so I’m going to do what I can to accomplish as much of it anyway,” Sills said.
“It’s not as comprehensive…but it’s something we can do on our own.”