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Sheriff’s Office pushes for new software

County and Sheriff Office representatives explain their pick for a new records management software to replace the current software that will no longer be available and provide wider coverage. Photo by Meg Dickens.

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Representatives from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Johnson County Purchasing Agent Dustin Shearin presented a potential records management software update for law enforcement and the jail to the County Commission during its Thursday, September 17 meeting. Whether this particular update is approved, officials will be forced to make a change soon, as the current software company, Securis, will stop offering its services. Officials have until December 2021 to make the switch and implement a new system.

Sheriff Eddie Tester and Dustin Shearin ranked the contenders by company firm qualifications, services provided, depth of response, and cost. Officials did not share company names at this point but shared information on their preferred pick. Although the preferred system is more expensive, it also offers “above and beyond what we’re going to replace.”

“It does about anything you want it to do,” Sheriff Tester exclaimed. “It was so elaborate that it blew my mind.”

One significant factor officials focused on was data conversion. The preferred system package converts current county data and includes that in the price. The other systems refer clients to a third party for that service, which adds approximately $50,000 to the proposed costs. Unless the current data is converted, Johnson County will lose all access to those records after Securis shuts down its system. The proposed new system has multiple servers in different locations and a backup on the Cloud.

Sheriff Tester visited one of the surrounding counties that has this system for a demonstration. Officials report that Carter, Unicoi, Sullivan, and Washington County all have this software. Carter County’s system will officially go live early this November. It includes capabilities for mobile, records, remote reporting, and document creation “on the fly.”

Implementing this system will reportedly connect charges from other counties and departments, which results in “more information sharing than we’ve ever had” according to Sheriff Tester. Officials report that this system will be a “big help with time management,” reducing inmate processing from roughly 50 minutes to around 15 minutes per inmate.

“It will basically centralize all the different pieces and parts,” Shearin explained.

The County Commissioners tabled the discussion until representatives can give more specific cost comparisons. This will most likely come up in the October commission meeting. The Johnson County Commissioners meet at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the upper courtroom of the Johnson County Courthouse. Find out more about the County Commission at