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Virginia Beach, Virginia: Sheriff's Office

Virginia Beach, Virginia: Sheriff's Office

Process Perps, Not Paper! That is the main goal of every Sheriff’s Office. The bottom line is that deputies can spend less time searching for information and more time ensuring public safety.

Security is certainly a top priority for the City of Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. Right in the mission statement, Sheriff Paul Lanteigne reiterates their dedication to “efficient and effective services to the community;” he also commits to focus on “competent, expeditious and courteous services that enhance their citizens’ safety while providing value for their tax dollars.”

One way the office decided to implement the core of their mission was to invest in a document imaging and records management system to deal with the growing number of records.

“In the last 20 years, the City of Virginia Beach has experienced exponential growth. Space for divisional records has always been limited,” said Computer Electronics Technician J.D. Fairfield.

It was becoming apparent that with the influx of records it was not only becoming harder to store the records properly, but also more difficult to retrieve the vital information when needed.

“Other than the need to store the documents, retrieving the documents became far more difficult. The space provided for document retention at times was not easily accessible,” said Fairfield.

The Sheriff’s office needed a solution that would guarantee dependable document retention and retrieval in a limited space. So what solution could be more efficient and effective than digitizing those important records?

In 2001, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s office selected UBS as the provider of its document imaging initiative. A Laserfiche server with twenty-five clients was purchased, along with two high-speed Fujitsu document scanners.

“The initial implementation focused on the areas of inmate records and administration,” said John Geist, Director of Professional Services at UBS. “Included in inmate records were the booking and classification divisions and administration included personnel and accounting.”

To assist with indexing the high-volume of booking records, an application was developed by UBS which created empty documents from a file output using the Sheriff’s office DSI Jail Management System.

“This way,” said Geist, “the scanner operators simply search on the booking number, open and then scan into the existing file.”

Laserfiche Plus was added in 2003 to assist in archiving older records out of the system.

“Our present use of the document imaging system is for archiving purposes. We utilize a central division for inmate records retention responsible for archiving documents from many different divisions. Other divisions utilize a smaller interdepartmental method of document management,” said Fairfield.

Plans for the future include Laserfiche Web Access for browser-based full-client access, a tighter integration with legacy applications, along with a shift from being primarily an archive/repository to an active record/workflow environment. The office goal has always been to eliminate paper document retention. Moving forward, this has shifted slightly to include improving document control and providing more access to the end users.

With Laserfiche in place, this goal should not be hard to achieve. Laserfiche digital document management software puts all the information an office would need, from lab reports and evidence photos to audio and video files, into a centralized repository. This creates a department-wide information network accessible only to authorized personnel.

Some other pros for the Laserfiche software: “Moving from version 5.0 to 7.2 occurred with ease,” said Fairfield. “The integration with Microsoft Office products is also a plus!”

The evidence proves that the ability to store documents electronically eliminates the need for providing space for document storage. And by putting today’s technology to work, in the field and at the station, the City of Virginia Beach Sheriff’s office has been able to uphold its mission statement and continue to provide the best and safest service for their community.

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