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Crime Report - Dec. 11, 2013

Lack of KCSO reports due to new computer system

Posted: December 10, 2013 7:38 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2013 5:00 a.m.

For the past several weeks, the Chronicle-Independent has been unable to publish Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) incident reports due to the implementation of a new incident report database called InterAct Online. The C-I has not yet been provided access to the new database as it had with the KCSO’s previous system.

(After this story went to press for our print edition, the C-I learned that the KCSO will begin emailing reports to us enabling us to begin publishing these reports again with our next crime report. --ed.)

InterAct Online is an Internet-based system replacing the KCSO’s old reporting system known as RMS.

RMS, recently purchased by InterAct, was an in-house, server-based system that took a lot of time, money and energy to maintain, KCSO officials said. The new system will cost the KCSO a little more than $34,000 a year, Sheriff Jim Matthews said, but the will also help alleviate fuel costs associated with the RMS system. He said the change is part of the “baby steps” the KCSO is making into the 21st century.

In fact, the old data was so antiquated that it wasn’t much different from using a paper-based system, KCSO Lt. Danny Templar said. Templar said the new system will store data remotely and be fully operated by InterAct Online’s owners.

Templar said the KCSO has been using InterAct since Nov. 19 and are currently waiting on old incident reports dating back to 2001 to be converted. He said that until that happens, the KCSO still has access to the RMS system.

Under the RMS system, deputies could only access reports by driving to KCSO headquarters or 911 Central Dispatch at the Kershaw County Government Center. That turned out to be a problem when deputies were near the Richland County line or out in Bethune, Templar said. InterAct Online, on the other hand, can be accessed from anywhere either by using an iPhone or a home computer. He said the database has security measures similar to those used by online banking sites.

According to Templar, the new system meets state and federal requirements and will, eventually, allows agencies using the system to share information more easily. Law enforcement agencies using InterAct can look up victim or subject history in other counties, he said.

While deputies previously had to call the KCSO for a case number and physically write down call times so they enter the data later into the RMS software, the new system is directly linked to Dispatch. That way, when a deputy goes to complete a report, it will immediately pick up where the dispatcher left off, Templar said.

Another feature that will benefit both the community and KCSO, Templar said, is InterAct’s mapping capability. It uses Google Maps to automatically map the location of any kind of incident. Previously, deputies used a physical map and colored push-pins to map out where crimes happened in the county. In addition, the mapping feature will allow the KCSO to assist community watch volunteers or other concerned citizens know more about crime in their area.

“The mapping gives us a bird’s eye perspective of hot spots. It will help us connect the dots in crimes such as auto break-ins, property crimes and reoccurring crimes in the area,” Templar said.

In the past, KCSO was blind to analytics, Templar said. Now, if someone wants to know how many instances of a particular crime happened within a 3-mile radius, KCSO personnel won’t have to sift through reports and rely on their peg board, he said.

In addition, deputies and investigators can link a string of crimes in the system by people, property or, for example, vehicles.

Other InterAct Online features include allowing law enforcement personnel to add attachments to online reports. That way any personnel looking at a report can hover over pictures associated with any particular case, for example, instead of having go through each photo.

Templar said the KCSO looked at several different systems, including Law Track system, a server-based system used by the Camden Police Department, but decided InterAct Online was the most cost-effective and efficient system. Templar said six other counties in South Carolina use the InterAct. Its website states that it is used by 2,400 agencies in 46 states and on three continents.

*****

A man allegedly scammed a couple out of more than $550 after the told them he would work in their yard.

According to a Camden Police Department (CPD) report, the homeowner told the man he would pay him $8 an hour. However, after only two hours of work, the homeowner gave the man $20. While the homeowner drove the man home, the suspect told him that his son was born with a hole in his heart and that he needed money. The homeowner gave the man another $140 and the suspect said he would pay him when he got his check.

The man failed to repay the money, however, but then asked the victim’s wife to loan him more than $400 for a three-month supply of medicines, which he also didn’t repay.

The same man also allegedly took a $200 saw from another Camden resident.

The CPD reported the following other reports during the time period of Dec. 2-8:

A middle school student threatened to bring a gun to school and shoot another student while in class. The student had allegedly gotten into a verbal argument with another student while on the morning school bus ride. The student was suspended pending a hearing at the Kershaw County School District Office.

Camden officers also assisted other agencies, served bench warrants and dealt with one DUI, trespassing, obscene or harassing telephone call, public disorderly conduct, theft from a motor vehicle, larceny and shoplifting.

Incident reports are provided by the Camden Police Department and Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and are a matter of public record under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. If the C-I makes a mistake, it will correct it upon verification with the appropriate law enforcement agency. Readers are cautioned that other individuals may have similar or identical names as those contained in incident reports. All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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