The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office is in the process of upgrading its jail management system software from a Legacy to a Platinum version. Natchitoches is the first Parish to go live with the installation of this new software.
The Customizable Commercial Off The Shelf (C-COTS) Platinum software is designed by Professional and Technical Software Solutions (PTS Solutions), which has been in business for 30 years.
PTS Solutions President Dave Fuqua said Natchitoches was chosen because of the strong working relationship it has with his company. “We wanted the right environment for it to go into for the first time,” he said. “It’s good to have the right people and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office has positively affected us as a vendor. It’s a partnership. It’s important to us to have people that care about the outcome of it.”
So, how does the system work? All the information collected from the moment dispatch receives a call to the moment field deputies respond to a scene and make an arrest goes to the Detention Center. Before, all this information was entered into the DC twice, once for booking and once for APHIS fingerprinting.
The new system can also manage digital elements that weren’t being thought of 10 years ago like dash cams, body cams, crime scene photos and video surveillance footage.
“It all becomes part of the package,” said Fuqua.
Think of it like a spider’s web. Any agency with access to the system can pull one string in the web and see all its connections. All the information from the point of the 911 call, through the court hearings is catalogued and accessible to create a more efficient system overall.
The new system also works on wizards. “We want the end result to be the same for the 15th employee as it is for the 1st and 2nd,” said Fuqua. “Our system walks the operator through the workflow with a series of questions for each type of offense.”
Not every Sheriff’s Office operates the same way so customization is key. The questions the wizard asks are customized based on each agency’s standards. The system is also customizable by each user from administration to officers.
“It’s not AI [artificial intelligence], but it’s pretty close,” said Fuqua. “It becomes an intelligence gathering mechanism to help solve crimes.”
The system links gang affiliations and logs aliases. Inmates can be flagged within the system based on comments regarding escape or bodily harm. It also logs which inmates are enemies, which can cut down on conflicts in the DC and on the transport bus when they’re on their way to court.
“This new system will let us keep volatile situations from occurring,” said Chief of Corrections Roger Henson. “It also creates accountability among our officers by requiring overrides and documentation.”
It also times each data input segment, to provide the DC administration with tangible numbers so they can look at how efficiently the facility is functioning.
“Faster input times means we can get the deputies back on the roads faster to give them more time to patrol the streets,” said Henson.
The plan is to integrate the software into each section of the Parish’s criminal justice system from 911 dispatch, to field deputy reports, to the courtroom. A fully integrated software system means a more efficient criminal justice system. This will allow officers to better serve and protect the community and assist victims with quicker response times as all the data is interlinked and accessible.