North Fulton County jail computer systems costing time and money

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:


FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Police in North Fulton County say incompatibility between department computer systems and the county's North Fulton Jail Annex computer system is costing officers' time and money.

Sandy Springs, Roswell, Milton, Johns Creek and Alpharetta all house inmates at the North Fulton Jail Annex, but police told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik that getting information on their inmates after they're booked in has been a challenge.

"As it stands right now, for us to get any records on the prisoners we take up there, we have to bring hard copies of all the paperwork back," Sandy Springs Police Capt. Keith Zgonc told Petchenik.

That's because Zgonc said the jail's booking software doesn't talk to the records software the cities currently use, so there's no way to input the information into a centralized database. That, he said, can add hours to a search for information about an inmate.

"One of the things we're looking to gain from this electronic sharing of things, such as the booking report, the photographs of inmates, so that we'll have an automatic link from the jail to our department's records management system, as well as the other cities' records management systems."

According to a memo to the Sandy Springs City Council, Fulton County is unable to fund the expense of upgrading the software. The memo said that officers are "losing or otherwise having to track down data after the arrest, to assist in ongoing investigations."

To streamline the process, the five cities in North Fulton are looking to split roughly a $90,000 cost to upgrade the jail's software. The proposal, which Sandy Springs City Council will vote upon Tuesday night, would disperse the cost to the cities based on population.

"Much quicker, much more efficient," Zgonc said of the upgrade.

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