A Shift To A New Records System

Columbia County, Wisconsin is located just north of the State’s Capital, Madison (where Extract is headquartered), just south of the popular tourist destination, the Wisconsin Dells, and is the 26th largest county in the state. In May its Sheriff’s Office public safety systems contractor, TriTech, decided they were going to discontinue their maintenance. The county was forced to switch to a different provider because if their systems were to crash, they were at risk for bigger problems with no one to help.

Sgt Matt Menard, who works in the County Sheriff’s Office in Columbia County, and had a large role in the software transition, explained that, “the transition went better than any of us could have hoped for.” Though the transition to the new system didn’t come without its challenges, the sheriff’s office, as well as its county-wide police departments, are now all using Spillman software. This software uniformity across the county allows for them to have more immediate sharing of information and data. 

Other counties in the state are also utilizing Spillman. Dodge County, which neighbors Columbia, is one of those. Columbus Police Chief Dennis Weiner explained that this allows for their police force to access one another’s records much quicker and more efficiently, which is important when responding to calls.

Though they were somewhat forced to transition to a new records management system (RMS), not all was lost, as the county was able to save all the data and information in the prior system and convert it over to the Spillman system.

Portage, which is the largest city in Columbia county, was one of the several local law enforcement agencies that were able to join the new system for free, saving the department around $9,000 every year.

As with any new system, a learning curve is expected, though most county residents shouldn’t notice a change. The only slight change might be that traffic stops may take a few extra minutes until officers become more comfortable with the features the new system offers. Weiner also said citizens might notice police officers parked around town more often, as they are able to input data from the field instead of having to run to the station every time. This saves time and paper, he said.

While the traffic stop may take a few extra minutes, emergency calls will be quicker because the police will have access to more reliable information at a much faster rate than historically.

Columbia County Sheriff Roger Brandner explained that his office will likely be using the Spillman RMS for the better part of 20 years and he believes that it will improve daily operations and investigations, making them both more consistent and efficient.

Efficiencies include:  

  • Data inputting that is now spread out among officers.

  • Information access speed is increased.

  • Updating resident information is easier.

  • Emergency dispatchers can stay tuned in in real time as its officers are responding to calls, reducing its radio and scanner traffic.  

  • Ability for patrol officers to notify jail staff if they are brining someone who is not cooperating to the jail, allowing them to have the staff needed for when they arrive.

“Any time we can get more information about someone coming in, we can have these officers ready,” Brian Kjorlie, a jail sergeant explained. And here at Extract, we also think that is important. For twenty years, Extract has been providing states and counties with automated redaction and indexing, allowing for 99% post-verification accuracy and document routing to desired levels within your downstream system. To learn more about what Extract can offer you, reach out today, or visit our government solutions page here.

About the Author: Taylor Genter

Taylor is the Marketing Specialist at Extract with experience in data analytics, graphic design, and both digital and social media marketing.  She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. Taylor enjoys analyzing people’s behaviors and attitudes to find out what motivates them, and then curating better ways to communicate with them.