Kings County Sheriff's Dept. gets technology revamp

FRESNO, Calif.

Sgt. David Dodd has patrolled with the Kings County Sheriff's Department for more than a decade. During that time he's used this computer software while driving to calls.

Deputies say this system created in the 1980s and implemented department-wide in the 90's is outdated and slows them down.

Sgt. David Dodd said, "A lot of times we will get a call for service, when I am driving it's safer to have two hands on the wheel so I will have to pull over on the side of the road."

Slowing patrols down, deputies say is just one the drawbacks of the program.

Kings County Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam said, "If I want to know how many DUI's arrests a deputy made or how many burglaries were in a neighborhood you got to physically count the number on the screen and then push next page and count."

Putnam is relieved the board of supervisors unanimously approved a new program on Tuesday for the entire department. He believes every one of these deputies will have more information, much faster at their fingertips.

Putnam expects the new software to go live in about a year. He says it's a timely addition to the department with the passage of the state prison realignment law -- AB109.

"We are going to have a huge influx of additional inmates that in the past would probably have been housed in California state prisons," Putnam said. "But now they will be our responsibility so we need a very good system at managing that additional population."

Deputies say the $2 million software is a good investment.

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