Organization: Winston Salem Police Department
Benefit: Eliminating manual document handling in grand
Industry: Law Enforcement
Data indexed: FoxPro database files and WordPerfect documents
Available on: Local Area Network and laptops
Used ISYS since: 1992
ISYS and the Winston Salem Police Department
In 1992, the Winston-Salem Police Department (North Carolina)
formed a grand jury task force to conduct long-term drug investigations.
They their cases would involve many interviews, surveillance notes and
other records in addition to actual grand jury testimony. They needed
to find a way to track all these files.
The department's Technical Services
Unit, headed by Sergeant Riley Spoon, was asked to find a solution.
The department was already using a database program to track investigation
information, but they felt it was too restrictive for task force purposes.
According to Spoon, "The department needed an alternative that
would allow people to easily input and access information regardless
of their computer proficiency."
"Our research led us to purchase
and install ISYS," Spoon recalled. "We considered several
other programs, but none of them could index our database memo fields.
Our success using ISYS in our database program led us to re-examine
it for possible use with WordPerfect," stated Spoon. "We were
surprised to find that ISYS' primary, out-of-the-box application is
for word processing software. ISYS was the solution we needed for our
grand jury task force documents."
"An investigator can use
ISYS to call up information on any subject mentioned on any document
in the system. For instance, several investigators may have relevant
information about a 'Joe Smith.' If an investigator needs to put together
all the information on Joe Smith, ISYS can search all the documents
in the computer for his name", said Spoon.
ISYS is also used in actual grand
jury proceedings. "We give the prosecutor a notebook PC that we
have populated with all the information from the entire investigation,"
stated Spoon. "Every day, we make an update for the prosecutor
with new information. ISYS is very simple to learn and the prosecutors
can easily use it with a minimum of instruction time."
"ISYS is an enormous time
saver," commented Spoon. "It eliminates time-consuming manual
searches and handles queries very quickly. We just wanted a way to efficiently
and reliably conduct searches through text. The speed with which ISYS
can perform its tasks was an added benefit."
The success of the Winston-Salem Police Department's
installation gained the interest of several state government entities.
Spoon has given demos of ISYS to various agencies and has, subsequently,
helped several of them install the program.