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Sheriff Gets Grant for Computer System

October 04, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department has been awarded a $1-million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to create a computerized inmate records system, officials announced Tuesday.

It was the second $1-million grant the department had received for the construction of a larger computer network called the Ventura County Integrated Justice Information System. The initial funds were used to place new computers in the department's 200 patrol cars.

The inmate records system will be linked to the larger computer system and will be accessible by officers in the field and law enforcement agencies throughout the county. The system is expected to be completed next fall.

"It means efficiency and safety," Sheriff Bob Brooks said. "It means there will be more police officers on the streets" instead of at stations writing reports and researching information.

Rep. Elton Gallegly, who lobbied for the grant, said the computer system will "greatly improve efficiency, accuracy and security of Ventura County's court system" and improve the safety of residents.

The inmate system will include fingerprint scanners, an electronic photo system, an Internet-based information system for the public and a visitor-identification system to track all visitors at the jails.

In addition to the computer grant, the Sheriff's Department was given another $96,340 to be used at stations in Ventura, Camarillo and Fillmore. That money was part of several block grants allocated to police agencies throughout the county.

Oxnard police received $298,723, Ventura police got $77,211, Santa Paula received $34,031, and Port Hueneme got $24,720.

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