ISYS product: ISYS:desktop
Organization: Maricopa County
Benefit: Cutting down on investigation time in important
Industry: Law Enforcement
Data indexed: Over 90,000 pages
Data format: WordPerfect documents
Available on: Local Area Network
Used ISYS since: 1991
After accumulating records for the County Attorney's
office for many years, Maricopa County's Law Enforcement Information
Systems Center (ISC) found that information and document retrieval had
become a time-consuming, unwieldy task.
With hundreds of cases on file, attorneys
found it very difficult to locate the information they needed, so the
ISC investigated various information retrieval software packages and
Ward Maeser, lead system administrator
for the ISC, recalls the process of selection. "Many programs required
extensive preparation," said Maeser. "The user had to input
the author's name, document types, etc and be able to identify key words.
Since lawyers usually don't input documents, they would have to rely
on the operator to know which words should be classified as key words."
"Many other programs weren't user-friendly,"
Maeser added. "We needed something that would allow the attorneys
to look up documents without the help of a paralegal or secretary. I
saw an ad for ISYS, sent for the demo pack, installed it, tried it and
I really liked it. I was particularly impressed with the fact that it
didn't require a lot of prep work."
A good example of ISYS' capability as
an investigative tool is the county's "Temple Murder" case,
which was being investigated by the Sheriff's office at the time ISYS
came on the scene. The case involved the shooting of monks and other
people in a Buddhist temple.
"During the investigation, interview
tapes were transcribed and filed in notebooks. The investigation team
had shelves full of documentation and interview transcripts. To find
specific information, they would have to manually scour each document."
"After seeing ISYS in action, I
realized that it could make the investigation much easier. I demonstrated
it, and the prosecuting attorney, K.C. Scull, requested that all information
on the case be put on computer with ISYS," said Maeser. According
to Scull, "We had accumulated around 90,000 pages of documentation.
There was no way we could deal with this amount of information without
"I was computer illiterate when
I started the Temple case. But after an hour of using ISYS, I could
find virtually any information I needed. ISYS helped me realize an incalculable
time saving. I have pushed the County to get everyone in our unit using