Dallas, Tarrant & Travis Counties Recognized for Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations for utilizing the TechShare.Prosecutor Law Enforcement and Defense Attorney Portals
In its 16th year, the Best of Texas Awards program, hosted by the Center for Digital Government, recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions through information technology to public service in Texas.
Winners are selected based on several criteria, including collaboration among agencies, innovative use of technology, economic benefits and improving public services and business processes. All government and educational organizations in Texas are invited to submit nominations each March. The awards are presented at the event held annually in June.
“Government leaders in Texas are leveraging technology to make government services more accessible and easier to use for the Texas residents that want and need them,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Making government services easier to access and use helps improve residents’ lives and creates efficiencies and cost savings for the agencies involved.
This year’s winner for Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations was presented to Dallas, Tarrant and Travis Counties for their efforts to build TechShare.Prosecutor, a web-based case management system, through a shared services agreement with the Texas Conference of Urban Counties. The scope of the project also included building a law enforcement agency portal and a defense attorney portal. In attendance to accept the award were Tanya Acevedo (Travis County), Craig Morrissey (Dallas County) and Scott Sheppard (Tarrant County).
The initial project to build the application began in late 2012 with four Texas counties–Dallas, Midland, Tarrant, and Travis–that had a need for a prosecutor case management system.
Following Go-Live, the solution replaced a manual, labor and time intensive process which required travel to various offices, and involved stand-alone applications, spreadsheets and databases. Through this collaborative effort, three web-based applications were developed that have interoperability between jurisdictions, shared costs, established standards for electronic data transmission, and easy secure access to store digital evidence. This type of functionality enables more efficient transfer of information between users, especially with the growing amount of data from devices like in-car video systems and body-worn cameras.
“Never before have people been able to work simultaneously on a case all at once,” said Ellyce Lindberg, Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County. “This creates a lot of efficiencies that were never there before.” In 2015, Dallas County even reported a $3.2M reduction in costs due to a decrease in jail population, citing its new software as one of the contributing factors since cases could be presented to grand juries faster which shortened jail stays.
During its development, two additional counties, Potter and Armstrong, joined the collaborative effort. To date, TechShare.Prosecutor is live in 11 Texas counties with more than 8,500 combined users made up of law enforcement, defense attorneys and prosecutors.
For more information about TechShare.Prosecutor, visit https://cuc.org/techshareprosecutor/.