JAMES MILLS 10-10-2018

The Effect of Technology on Law Enforcement; a Personal Experience (Vol 1)


I have the honor of serving the citizens of Tarrant County, Texas for 27 years. I hired on with the Sheriff’s Office in late 80s and retired in 2017 after serving in many different positions. The positions I worked included Jailer, Patrol Officer, Supervisor, Narcotics, Judicial, and Labor Detail. The various positions were each effected differently by technology especially software.

When I started in the jail, we had one computer on each floor that used a system that was old even for those days to track inmates’ information. We used paper cards to track inmate visitation and grievances. We handwrote reports on carbonless report forms and filed them in filing cabinets at the facility sending a copy downtown for review. As you can imagine, the introduction of electronic reporting system was a huge improvement in writing and storing reports not to mention the ability to recall report information much more efficiently!

Since my early days, software has made a confinement officer’s life a lot better and safer in that they can document incidents in a much more efficient manner and can access information on those they watch much easier. Now, software can help track visitors, known associates, flags for keeping individuals separate, danger flags on individuals and mug shots are easily accessible. In addition, you can keep track of the medication they take, special meals they are to be given, historical data on all the locations where they were housed when they were in jail, detailed information on all their property and much more.

For a demo of our JMS software, just give us a call or submit a request on our site

One of the more surprising benefits of the use of electronic reporting was the ability for those deputies assigned to the courthouse to document all the incidents they were involved in. The change to using an RMS was that all those handwritten and computer generated reports that were turned in now could be submitted electronically and stored at the Records Division. Tarrant County has 6 courthouses including the Juvenile courts at JDC and these facilities generate a great deal of reports. The Judicial Division deputies found it much easier to document incidents and file charges on those committing offenses in their presence. This led to an increase in reported offenses, collecting and processing evidence, and an increase in case filings. I was surprised how much the activity increased when software made the deputies’ job easier. In addition to electronic reporting, the use of LiveScan, in the courtrooms made fingerprinting much easier and less messy.

At Labor Detail, which is where convicted people can work off their fines and time for misdemeanor offenses, the introduction of software allowed us to track the dates and times of participants allowing for much more accurate record keeping. The ability to see mug shots of the individual also allowed for better identification of the participant. The ability to communicate with courts scattered all over the county about participant’s activity made keeping them updated much easier. Software made scheduling activities much easier as we had an average of 200 people reporting on Saturdays alone and we had many non-profits needing help so coordinating all of this was labor intensive prior to the introduction of software. The introduction of RMS to the Labor Detail deputies also led to an increase in reporting offenses and filing criminal cases.

For a demo of our RMS software, just give us a call or submit a request on our site

I have a great change in in many areas since software and other technologies were introduced to my agency over the years and advancement in these areas has allowed doing our job much more efficient and effective. The most important aspect of technological advancement is the increase in officer safety, which is by far the most important factor.

For more information on any of our software, just give Dynamic Public Safety a call or submit a request on our site