The Oneida County District Attorney’s office is saying goodbye to thousands of boxes of papers, documents, and police reports. Starting in 2013, the D.A. will become one of the first prosecution offices in New York to go digital.
The D.A.’s office says it will soon be converting documents, police reports and audio-video recordings into digital form that can be accessed using any computer, iPhone, or iPad. They say this is the way technology is going, so why not help lead the revolution.
“Going to a paperless format is the wave of the future,” says Scott McNamara, Oneida County District Attorney.
The District Attorney says thousands of old documents are stored at a warehouse in Westmoreland, and there’s just no more space
“We’ve come to a spot where we’re running out of room to store these files,” says McNamara.
“They’re literally spilling over filing cabinets,” says Robert Bauer, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney.
“And each year they become more voluminous then they were before,” says McNamara.
The program’s estimated cost is nearly $600 thousand dollars but McNamara says this will actually save money for the future.
“We don’t have enough space, paperwork, and actually people to produce one of these folders on every misdemeanor case. Going this new way, we will be able to do that,” says McNamara.
McNamara says when this goes through there will be no more paper files like this one. All of the documents will be able to be accessed through computer systems or even remotely through iPhones or iPads.
“More efficient, more cost effective and easier accessible for everyone we do business with,” says Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive.
“It’s gonna allow us access to all of those materials at the click of a button, at the touch of a keyboard, anything that we need will be right there in digital format,” says Bauer.
And it’s environmentally friendly as well.
“Adds up to a lot of people, we’re killing a lot of trees out there. And the better way of doing this is to do it digitally,” says Picente.
“This is definitely the way technology is going and that attorneys and prosecutors offices are gonna be going so hopefully we’ll just be one step ahead of that curve,” says Bauer.
McNamara says the plan is to give an iPad to each of the three county courtrooms, three to Utica City Court, one to Rome City Court and several more for the village and town courts. He says the program will be in full throttle by the Summer of 2013.