Lafayette, La., Sheriff’s Office Switches Case Management Software

New York-based Mark43 will provide the new system, which will cover record writing, investigative case management, property and evidence tracking, warrants logging, and booking.

by Katie Gagliano, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. / April 25, 2019

(TNS) — The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office is getting a high-tech upgrade.

The department announced Tuesday it’s entering a $1.9 million 5-year contract with Mark43, a New York-based software and data service company, to implement a new cloud-based records management system, Support Services Commander Maj. Dondi Hardin said in an email.

The Mark43 system covers record writing, investigative case management, property and evidence tracking, warrants logging and booking. The program will allow deputies to streamline report writing, access records using mobile devices and in-car computers, and reduce report filing times, a release said.

The partnership will help move the agency toward a paperless work environment with better flow, Hardin said.

“We build our software to be intuitive and on-par with the technology that we all use in our daily lives so that officers can focus on the moments that matter,” Mark43 co-founder and CEO Scott Crouch said in the release.

The sheriff’s office first considered the shift after an assessment of the current Automated Record Management and Mapping System in 2015. A request for proposals was put out and four companies, including Mark43, gave live demonstrations of their products to the department and other local agencies, Hardin said.

A judging committee comprised of representatives from the sheriff’s corrections, information technologies, detectives, and research and development divisions graded the demonstrations and submitted a recommendation to Sheriff Mark Garber, he said.

The department expects it will take about 18 months before the new Mark43 system is fully operational, Hardin said.

The major said that officials expect the cloud-based system will reduce report turnaround times by 30 to 50 percent because of the ability to upload electronic media to the system. It currently takes between five and seven business days for deputies to complete a report, he said.

Other features include active error detection while report data is filled in, adaptable report forms and the ability to link outside records, documents and multimedia to reports and case files. The Mark43 system also allows for data sharing between other agencies on the platform, the release said.

The Lafayette Sheriff’s Department is one of over 60 law enforcement agencies nationwide to switch to the company’s system.

“Mark43 will allow for efficient processes within our agency and facilitate data-sharing with other departments when necessary, enabling us to provide our citizens with the highest level of service they expect and deserve,” Garber said in a statement.

The system is aligned with National Incident-Based Reporting System standards, allowing the department to comply with federal requirements. The National Incident-Based Reporting System is a data tracking program operated through the Federal Bureau of Investigation that collects information on criminal incidents from local law enforcement.

The program allows law enforcement to track crime statistics and patterns to better utilize resources and plan counter measures to reduce crime, according to the FBI website.

The sheriff’s office isn’t the only Lafayette-area department utilizing a Mark43 product. In March, Lafayette 911 announced it was switching to Mark43’s computer assisted dispatch system.

The system will help 911 operators quickly determine which emergency responders need to be sent to a scene, determine which responders are nearest the call and coordinate call information with first responder agencies, Lafayette 911 director Craig Stansbury said.

All first responders in the parish, including the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police Department, Lafayette Fire Department, Acadian Ambulance Service and volunteer fire agencies, will use the new system, he said.

No other local agencies are currently using Mark43’s records management system, but several have shown interest in information sharing technology, Hardin said.

©2019 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.