L.A. County Sheriff Plans Deployment of New Booking Tools

The department is planning the deployment of a new Criminal Booking System that should bring never-before-seen capabilities to the agency later this year.

by Theo Douglas / January 16, 2019

Sheriff’s deputies in the nation’s most populous county should start getting new tools later this year to make their booking and prisoner release processes more efficient and safer.

After obtaining approval Dec. 10 from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is in the design and development stage of a contract with South Carolina-based DataWorks Plus LLC to “deliver and maintain a Criminal Booking System” (CBS). Known as "live scan," the existing electronic system takes fingerprints and photos — but its replacement will add a striking new capability. Among the takeaways:

• The new DataWorks contract will bring new live scan systems, central servers, supporting software as well as implementation and support services. It will also “provide new and emerging technologies not previously available to the county,” county Undersheriff Timothy Murakami and Chief Information Officer William Kehoe wrote in a letter to supervisors. That’s a reference to the system’s ability to host so-called “iris capture” — identifying people being booked or released by the iris of their eye, a body part considered less susceptible to damage than a fingerprint.

That capability will require standing up a database to catalog iris captures, as well as equipment to make the scans, so this aspect will likely not be available at the outset of deployment, Lt. Derek Sabatini, the county’s Cal ID manager, told Techwire. But the potential, he said, is significant nonetheless.

 “It doesn’t speed up the booking process because now there’s another step they have to take. But what it will do is, it’ll allow for more accurate releases of individuals. It’ll allow for field identifications where you don’t have to touch an individual,” Sabatini said.

• As with the county’s previous contractor, Idemia, its DataWorks pact will be for six years with the option of four one-year extensions. The new agreement is for a maximum spend of just more than $17.5 million over its entire life. That includes nearly $3 million in “pool dollars,” which may not be needed but are earmarked for “currently unforeseeable exigencies or future changes to performance requirements,” or future tech refreshes.

The contract is a “zero net County Cost Agreement,” the CIO and the undersheriff said in their letter, noting that Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) funds are specifically allocated to each county for “establishing fingerprint solutions and suspect booking identification facilities and ancillary costs.” The Los Angeles County Regional Identification System, which Sabatini manages, is charged with providing criminal identification services to around 45 local law enforcement agencies. It manages the county’s AFIS-related projects.

• Implementation is expected to begin after July 1, the start of the county’s 2020-2021 Fiscal Year, Sabatini said. Full deployment may take up to 16 months, DataWorks estimated in its response to the county’s RFP and Kehoe noted in a CIO Analysis provided to the supervisors. (DataWorks was one of two respondents to the 2018 RFP.) The county’s contract with Idemia expires Nov. 30, and the agency — which serves more than 10 million residents — may seek another extension to enable the eventual cut-over.

• The new contract will replace 179 current live scan devices at 128 county locations, Sabatini said, indicating the agency averages around 300,000 bookings annually through all its participating agencies. It will also let officials incorporate what they’re calling the “automated booking system” into CBS — which will let participating agencies without their own records management system pass data along from an officer’s in-vehicle computer to the CBS. This, the lieutenant said, will speed up the process, move it off paper and eliminate retyping information.

  This story was first published in Techwire.

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