Marion County’s electronic warrant request and approval processing system is the only 24/7 warrant system of its kind deployed in the state of Indiana. Law enforcement officers can now digitally request and receive approval for search warrants from their vehicles’ computers in an average of 18 minutes.
As the busiest county court system in the state of Indiana, Marion Superior Court saw a need for this digital transformation, and worked with BerkOne and Kofax to implement its new electronic warrants system. Paperwork is dramatically reduced, officers are kept updated throughout the process, and administrative tasks are minimized. Amitav Thamba, Chief Technology Officer at Marion Superior Court, explained, “In the past, officers had to physically track down a judge who could review and grant the warrant request. This typically involved travelling to our central Arrestee Processing Center (APC) to connect with a judge. If an officer was at the outer limits of the city, it could take almost half an hour just to reach the APC, possibly even longer depending on traffic conditions. Then the officer still needed to communicate with the judge, get the warrant signed and printed, and return to the scene to serve the document. We recognized the value in replacing this labor-intensive, time-consuming process with an economical and user-friendly digital option.”
More than just automating systems, operations are based on smarter processes. The document content and accompanying attachments are sent securely and imported into a central repository. The submission page is automatically separated from the warrant to alleviate privacy concerns. The system then extracts key information such as the submitting officer’s name, and the date and time of the submission, before entering the item into a review queue. Clerks and judges are automatically notified via email when a new warrant is awaiting their review. If a submission in a clerk’s queue is not processed within 10 minutes of receipt, the clerk receives another email alert. Similarly, judges are given 25 minutes to review and approve or deny a warrant; once this time period has elapsed, the job is automatically assigned to a secondary judge, who is notified by email and given 10 minutes to complete the review.
Handling more than 4,000 warrants annually, Marion County expects continued improvements in overall visibility and control of search warrant processing. Thamba concluded, “Kofax technology is helping us to shape a more streamlined approach to warrant processing. It’s a digital transformation that could be a model for any police agency in the country, ensuring our law enforcement teams and judicial officers are empowered and working at peak efficiency to maintain public safety.”
– Sylvia Chansler, Kofax
(Photo by Antoinette Alcazar)