New IT tool helping local law enforcement
After two years of hard work, King County Information Technology (KCIT) and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO) launched a new system known as eLODI, or Electronic Log of Detective Input. eLODI allows law enforcement officers throughout the county to electronically submit their referrals, evidence and case documents to the PAO’s case management system, PROSECUTORbyKarpel.
One of the first to involve a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor of this scale, eLODI was a collaboration of the PAO, Karpel Solutions, the KCIT Project Management Office (PMO), Business Analysis Group, Business Solution Services (BSS) and local law enforcement agencies. Several departments within KCIT assisted in putting together the infrastructure.
“eLODI was developed from the ground up and allows law enforcement to search for and select actual PAO data, including charges, persons, businesses and police officers to the referral,” Dennis Fong, technical project lead said.
It also allows officers to attach the digital Superform (a document that identifies the defendant and the charges), digitally create and sign a Certification for Determination of Probable Cause (another required document), upload digital documents and evidence files, Fong said.
“It’s light-years ahead of the previous referral submission built with the Booking and Referral System (BARS) several years ago,” Fong said. “It became possible after the PAO implemented a modern case management system in 2013 to replace their 35-year-old mainframe technology.”
Because the new application allows police officer to interact with and upload directly to the PAO’s case management system, it saves law enforcement time by not having to prepare and deliver hardcopies, PAO program manager Kassie Tadsen said. eLODI also benefits the PAO by allowing the staff to merge the referrals electronically rather than manually entering the data and scanning and uploading the documents once the paper referral is received.
“We can then get the case assigned out to a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for review faster,” Tadsen said. “Law enforcement also saves a physical trip to the PAO and avoids both traffic and parking.”
eLODI was built using the latest Microsoft web technologies and programming standards. It utilizes responsive design, maintainability and reusable components. Lead developer, Dennis Valente, took great efforts to build an application that was both functional and intuitive for law enforcement to use.
As the first project to build an in-house application that was highly integrated with a SaaS solution, it had some technical challenges that took longer to resolve than expected. Once that was overcome, Latasha Battle, the KCIT project manager, ensured that eLODI met specifications by leading the acceptance testing with a team of officers who were identified by their agencies to be subject matter experts. She conducted several “Train-the-Trainer” sessions for key users from local law enforcement agencies.
“We got great feedback from our trainings,” Kassie Tadsen said. “Officers felt the program would take a little time to learn, but ultimately it would save them time.”
For Dennis Valente: “The [Train-the-Trainer] workshops were an opportunity to gather information on possible improvements to make eLODI a more helpful and intuitive tool.”
Launched just under seven weeks ago, eLODI is available to over 1,000 law enforcement users and has already processed about 350 referrals from 17 agencies.
“eLODI is working out great for us,” Detective Corporal Randi Crocker from Kirkland PD said.
This was a very successful collaboration between KCIT and a separately-elected agency, Tadsen said. eLODI used the developer resources at KCIT strategically to build a front end and integration to a cloud-based SaaS solution.
“This is where the County can achieve great value with IT solutions,” Tadsen said. “And the direction in which CIO Bill Kehoe’s IT strategy is taking the County.