Sheriff’s Office Adopts New Integrated Data System

The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office and the Spartanburg County Detention Center have adopted a new and powerful tool for tracking crime and criminals through the use of computer technology.

According to crime analyst Lorena Pyhala, the new system from Spillman Technologies gives the sheriff's office and the jail the ability to organize and retrieve an almost unimaginable amount of information about criminals and criminal activity throughout the county and is similar to a system used to great success by Spartanburg Public Safety.

The main purpose of the system is to simplify things to save time, money and manpower,” Pyhala said. This will give a cohesiveness between the information collected by the different agencies that we've never had before.

It's one of the most comprehensive data management systems I've seen,” She said.

Pyhala and fellow crime analyst Tina Ford are currently entering new information into the system. Pyhala said that while the limited amount of information entered so far will not enable the system to work its full range of data magic, in months and years to come the powerful information software will be able to do an incredible number of useful things with the county's crime database.

For instance, Pyhala said the software will store and organize all information contained in incident reports, case files and jail records to such an extent that investigators would be able to track crime by mode of operation, location, time of day, name, type of crime and a host of other variables that will help investigators catch criminals.

She said that next to building the database, the next most powerful tool the system will offer will be in making use of information entered from mobile data terminals (MDTs) in the patrol cars. She said that while it does not seem likely that the county will invest the funds to install such systems in the near future, such systems would give deputies a wealth of new tools to more effectively fight crime throughout the county. The MDTs would give officers instant access to the full range of information managed by the system and would enable them to respond to crime more quickly and effectively.

It's so flexible that we can set it up to do what we need it to do,” Pyhala said. This is something that's going to be extremely important for me in my job tasks as a crime analyst.”

She said that she expects it to take a year or two before enough new and accurate information is entered for the system to really show its capabilities. That's why she is teaching the system to department personnel and stressing the need to enter complete and accurate information.

Information is the key,” she said.

By Jay King
Staff Writer