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Wake County gets new crime fighting tool
 
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NCAWARE Fact Sheet
Quotes from NCAWARE Users

RALEIGH – Offenders, beware! NCAWARE is a new crime-fighting force in Wake County.

The N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) today announced that Wake County courthouse staff, magistrates and law enforcement officers are now using NCAWARE, a new system built by the NCAOC that issues and tracks warrants for all wanted persons in North Carolina. This powerful system is a high-tech, web-based tool that provides real-time information to better administer justice. Wake is the eighth county, and the largest to date, to use NCAWARE.

“This new system is a major step toward building a criminal justice information network in the state,” said Judge John W. Smith, NCAOC director. “NCAWARE will automate Wake County’s manual processes, and will better help magistrates and law enforcement officers process unserved warrants.”

The system offers many benefits to the public and to its users. Overall, the system will better help fight crime. It also eliminates duplicate data entry that was occurring with previous manual processes, and it provides greater data integrity.

In addition to the eight counties currently using NCAWARE, all counties statewide have access to the information.

"By providing the law enforcement officer on the street with critical information in a timely manner, NCAWARE will enhance officer safety, prevent defendants from avoiding apprehension on orders for arrest from other jurisdictions and help clear up the backlog of outstanding warrants waiting to be served," said Wake County Chief District Court Judge Robert Rader. "This is a huge step for the judicial system."

“NCAWARE has the capacity to be an important tool for protecting the public,” said Wake County Clerk of Superior Court Lorrin Freeman. “It should reduce the time law enforcement officers spend chasing paper and provide them important information about offenders they encounter.”

With NCAWARE, during a routine traffic stop, a law enforcement officer has the information needed to apprehend someone who may be wanted for other, even more serious, offenses. Further, this means that before law enforcement officers approach the offender, they can search NCAWARE to see if that person has any previous offenses or outstanding warrants for arrest. This provides the officer with information to determine whether the offender is safe to approach or if other officers should be called to the scene. NCAWARE also allows real-time service of out-of-county processes.

The system was developed in conjunction with law enforcement officials, magistrates, clerks of court and district attorneys around the state. When fully launched, NCAWARE will serve more than 35,000 of these users and will contain more than five million records. The budget crisis has caused a slow down in implementation, as it requires travel and training resources that are very limited at this time; however, all counties are expected to be using the system by the end of 2010.

The system launched in June 2008 starting in Johnston County, and is being rolled out county-by-county throughout the state. Other counties using the system are Harnett, Lee, Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson and Greene. Counties to next receive the system are Wayne, Martin, Orange, Chatham, Durham and Person.

Funds for NCAWARE came from a federal earmark, the N.C. Governor’s Crime Commission and the N.C. General Assembly. Partnering agencies are the State Bureau of Investigation, local law enforcement agencies, the Department of Correction, the Division of Motor Vehicles and the State Highway Patrol.


Wake County Courthouse receives two other automated systems

eFiling
The Wake County Courthouse this week joins Chowan and Davidson counties in the statewide pilot of a web-based eFiling program. For the first time in the state, civil superior and foreclosure filings may be submitted electronically, and filing fees may be paid online. Select law firms in the county are testing this new application as part of the pilot. This type of automation saves attorneys and clerks time and money. The eFiling project is administered by the NCAOC in cooperation with the N.C. Bar Association. Clerk Freeman serves as the current chair for the statewide eFiling Advisory Committee.

Discovery Automation System
Earlier this year, the NCAOC began another pilot in Wake County of another new system to automate the criminal discovery process. This new system provides electronic access to evidence in felony cases and tracks its disclosure to the defense.


About the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts
The N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts provides courts statewide with information, technology, personnel, financial, legal, research and purchasing services. More information is available at www.nccourts.org.


Contact
Sharon Gladwell, communications director, N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, 919 890-1394, sharon.gladwell@aoc.nccourts.org.

 
Publish Date: 07/22/2009
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