Hancock sheriff seeks to replace computer software
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is asking the county commissioners to invest in computer software to cut the man-hours needed to manage the jail, use data to identify crime trends, and maybe allow the public to file complaints online.
Sheriff Michael Heldman, along with several deputies, met with the Hancock County commissioners on Tuesday to discuss making the switch.
The sheriff’s office is interested in contracting with the ProPhoenix Corp. of Moorestown, New Jersey, for the software. The initial purchase, installation and support services, including training, would cost about $387,438, with an additional expense of about $42,665 each year for support and maintenance.
Heldman and his deputies described current software used to manage the jail as cumbersome and dated, with no guarantees it can protect jail data. For example, jailers must still record all jail statistics by hand, because the system is unreliable. The current software has been in use since 2004, and support for the software has been poor, they said.
Online complaints are an option with the ProPhoenix software, but Heldman isn’t entirely sold on the idea. On Tuesday, he questioned the loss of person-to-person contact with the public.
Lt. Cris Bell, enforcement lieutenant for the sheriff’s office, said online complaints, if allowed, would be limited in scope to crimes with no suspect and minimum damage.
Cindy Land, Hancock County assistant prosecutor, said the software contract may have to be put to bid under state law. There are some exceptions, and she agreed Tuesday to check the rules.
There was no decision made Tuesday.