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Mississippi Sheriff’s Department to Buy Crime-Tracking Software

The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors this week authorized a sheriff’s department grant application for $50,000, which will be used to purchase and install a software program for tracking criminal and gang activity data.

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(TNS) —The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department may soon have a new tool for investigating and tracking crime throughout the community.

The Board of Supervisors on Monday authorized the department's grant application for $50,000, which will be used to purchase and install a software program for tracking criminal information on department computers.

Sheriff Billy Sollie said the software will be used to gather data on criminal and gang activities in the Lauderdale County area.

The software will come from Formulytics, a Georgia-based company, that bills its program as a complete criminal profile. On its website, the company says its program helps detect patterns and identify connections that may otherwise be missed.

Prosecutors can also benefit from the program, the company claims on its website, as information entered throughout the course of an investigation is easily accessible in an organized case file. The company claims the data can further be used by corrections officials when deciding where to place convicted criminals, and help law enforcement after an individual is released.

Formulytics claims its cloud-based software was created with input from investigators with the Atlanta Police Department, and in a 2013 news release, then mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed said law enforcement was reaping the benefits of the partnership as well.

"Through the partnership with Formulytics, the Atlanta Police Department has taken a giant leap forward in the fight against gang violence," Reed said. "This technology has enabled much smarter, much faster investigations and the results speak for themselves."

In the news release, the city said the software had identified more than 1,000 connections between separate gang and homicide investigations that might have gone unnoticed by the individual investigators. The city said it had also seen the benefit of the software on the prosecution side, with both indictments and guilty pleas up.

Since its infancy in Atlanta, Formulytics has since expanded to other law enforcement agencies in Georgia and beyond.

In an Aug. 17 work session, Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun said Lauderdale County was one of three Mississippi counties asked to pilot the software and see if it might be worth considering for other law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

"They identified Lauderdale County, I think it was Desoto County and then a county in the south they wanted to run a software collection on inmates and people we deal with and their affiliations in the community," he said.

The costs of implementing and using the software will be fully covered by the grant funds, Calhoun said, and there will be no cost to the county to participate in the program.

©2023 The Meridian Star (Meridian, Miss.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.