Wayne County Office of the Sheriff 

     7368 Rt 31

Lyons NY 14489 

 Press Release


 

Wayne County Sheriff's Office Embraces New Technology

March 1, 2005

Wayne County Sheriff Richard Pisciotti today announced the start of new technology in 3 areas of Sheriff's Office operations.  The areas utilizing new technology are Corrections, Criminal Records, and Road Patrol.

Starting March 1st correctional officers will be utilizing digital technology to capture an arrested persons fingerprints and photographs. Those digital images will be sent electronically to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in Albany, and then on to the FBI.

Digital images will be captured on a machine known as a "livescan."  An individual's fingers are placed on the glass surface of a scanning device and are scanned and recorded utilizing specially designed computer software.  The software, which meets FBI specifications, will not allow unacceptable prints to be captured nor will it allow fingers to be printed out of sequence.  After the fingerprints are accepted by the computer software, they, along with the digital photographs of the arrested person, are sent via a secure network to the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office in Syracuse.  From there the prints and photographs are stored on a multi-agency, central repository computer, and then forwarded to the DCJS and FBI for identification.  After identification of the prints, a criminal history of the person is made available on a new secure DCJS site known as "e-Justice." The criminal history and or identification information is usually available within 20 minutes from the time the prints are electronically sent.  With the old system, fingerprint cards were mailed to DCJS and responses sent back usually in about a month.

With the new "livescan" technology, fingerprints can know be captured in as little as  5 minutes in comparison to up to 30 minutes with the old ink and paper method.  Fingerprints are captured once instead of multiple times for different local, state and federal agencies.

Having the criminal history, also known as a rap sheet, back within 20 minutes is also a major benefit because it establishes the true identity of the arrested person before he or she is processed through the criminal justice system.

Sheriff Pisciotti states that the new "livescan" technology frees up corrections officers to spend more time performing other necessary duties.  It also immediately establishes a person's true identity, thereby preventing a person from being booked into the correctional facility under an assumed name or a wanted person going undetected.

Sheriff Pisciotti entered into an agreement with Sheriff Walsh of Onondaga County to use Onondaga County as a store and forward for the fingerprint data.  Sheriff Pisciotti stated that it is much cheaper and more efficient to go through Onondaga County because Onondaga County already has in place the central computer system, network lines to Albany, and system maintenance.   Sheriff Pisciotti stated that in these times of tight budgets, purchasing and maintaining our own system would be cost prohibitive.  Wayne County pays a nominal annual fee of one thousand dollars to Onondaga County for the use of their system including data storage and back up.    The agreement with Onondaga County also allows Wayne County Sheriff's personnel full access to arrest data for several central New York police agencies, which also utilize the Onondaga County system, along with access to the DCJS "e-Justice" service.

The Records Division of the Sheriff's Office will also be utilizing the same new "livescan" technology.   Records personnel will take persons fingerprints digitally for pistol permit applications, and other applications requiring fingerprint submissions to DCJS.

After the electronic submission of the fingerprints, a criminal history and identification verification check is sent back to the Sheriff's Office from DCJS and the FBI, usually within twenty-four hours.  Sheriff Pisciotti states that this new system will greatly expedite the investigation processes necessary for a pistol permit application.  Under the old system it took up to 6 months for the application process to be completed, mainly due to amount of time necessary for DCJS and the FBI to handle  and process the ink and paper fingerprint cards.

The last area of the department using new technology is the Road Patrol Division.  Sheriff's deputies now utilize portable tablet computers and hand held scanners to issue vehicle and traffic tickets.  The new system called "TraCS (Traffic and Criminal software),  allows a deputy to issue a traffic ticket by scanning the driver and registration information from the bar codes on the driver license and registration in to the software program on the tablet computer.  The deputy only needs to key in the specific charge and court information and scan his signature to complete the ticket. This greatly reduces the time necessary to issue a traffic summons.  The deputy then prints out the drivers copy of the ticket on a thermal printer mounted in the patrol car.  A deputy can issue multiple tickets to a driver by simply replicating the ticket information already entered with new violation sections.   Accident reports are also being completed using the same software and tablet computers, which greatly reduces the amount of time it takes a deputy to clear an accident scene.

At the end of the deputy's shift and while at the main Sheriff's station in Lyons, all ticket and accident data is electronically transferred the main computer via a wireless network.  The data is then uploaded to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Office of Court Administration.  Three justice courts in Wayne County, Arcadia, Walworth, and Savannah, are currently testing the system and are retrieving ticket data from the Office of Court Administration through a secure network.  The rest of the justice courts will be sent paper copies of the computer generated tickets until all testing is completed.  It is anticipated that within 6 months all the courts will be retrieving their ticket data electronically.

TraCS is a free software system that was originally developed by the Iowa Department of Transportation that includes modules for the electronic collection of data for all aspects of police work, such as traffic tickets, accident reports, DWI arrests, incident investigations, criminal arrests and commercial vehicle inspections.

The New York State Police, in conjunction with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, have developed TraCS for use by New York State law enforcement agencies.  Wayne County Sheriff's Office is one of approximately 44 agencies across the state currently using the system.

Sheriff Pisciotti states that the TraCS system greatly reduces the time a deputy spends on paperwork and greatly increases their availability for patrol.  The Sheriff further states that the less time a deputy and motorist are stopped alongside busy roads, the less chance there is for traffic disruption to the motoring public and the less chance there is for injury to the motorist and deputy.

Sheriff Pisciotti also states that the TraCS system will provide more timely and accurate ticket and accident data, thereby allowing him the ability to strategically deploy his limited resources to the highest risk accident areas.

Sheriff's deputies will soon be using the software and tablet computers to electronically complete all their police reports and wirelessly download them to the central computer.  This, along with the creation of a central repository for all police agencies reports, will greatly enhance data sharing by all Wayne County law enforcement agencies.

The Sheriff added that funding for all the new technology came from federal grant monies and no local taxpayer money was used.

 

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