Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office

DocuPhase Case Study

Document Management


Forsyth County is home to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. With an area of 412 square miles and a population 331,859, it’s a large responsibility for the Sheriff’s Office.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) employs 631 officers, administrators, and support staff who responded to 72,947 calls. Departments such as the Enforcement Division, Investigative Services, Detention Services, Court Services, and Sex Offender Registration logged 12,126 bookings, brought 11,145 charges and made 5,165 arrests. They also issued 8,070 citations and 2,433 gun permits with their Domestic Violence Unit responding to 6,176 incidents.

Because of North Carolina state law, physical law enforcement documents must be kept permanently. For example, each inmate that has ever entered the FCSO Detention Center has a booking record that is kept in a folder. FCSO couldn’t store those files remotely in a data warehouse because of the requirements for immediate access. Even if a person was arrested 10 years ago and is then rearrested, the FCSO must be able to pull the file and add to the original record. This requirement created filing, storage, and retrieval issues that were becoming increasingly difficult to manage and costly with current FCSO staffing levels.

‘‘We didn’t have many indexes, didn’t have control over documents, we couldn’t email from the system, we couldn’t grant access for the agency as a whole to documents,” said Jeff Wilson, ystems Administrator for the Sheriff’s Office.

Results at a Glance







"We didn’t have many indexes, didn’t have control over documents, we couldn’t email from the system, we couldn’t grant access for the agency as a whole to documents – until DocuPhase."

JEFF WILSON Systems Administrator, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office

The Solution

Wilson knew the Sheriff’s Office needed a document management system, so he took the simplest first step. ‘‘I just did a Google search on document management systems because we were looking for a solution. We were very open minded about it, we didn’t even ask other people ‘What do you use?’ We looked at several and then at that point we asked some people and DocuPhase hands down looked the best.’’

Lt. Beth Pritchard oversees the Weapons Permitting Division, Legal Process Division, Domestic Violence Unit, and Crisis Negotiation. Together, Wilson and Pritchard wrote the proposal recommending DocuPhase for presentation to their command staff. Ultimately, Sherriff William Schatzman approved the acquisition and FCSO purchased the DocuPhase solution with the ScanDox application.

The Results

FCSO now has direct control over its documents. With DocuPhase implemented, the physical records were warehoused permanently at a remote location, almost completely eliminating the previous storage and retrieval issues.

The Detention Center personnel can use the electronic copy directly and add any new documents to the physical original later. In the rare instance in which the original is required, it can be produced again at a later date. ‘We can access them immediately, manipulate them, and we have a lot richer index space as well,’’ said Wilson.

When asked what impressed her most about DocuPhase, Pritchard answers, ‘‘Ease of use and flexibility. We’re able to alter, change, and adapt DocuPhase to what we need to do and make it work for us. Fast.’’ She added, ‘‘Almost every day we think up a new use. Its been phenomenal.’’ The search capabilities particularly impress Prichard. ‘‘Just yesterday I had to locate some checks that had come into the office a few months ago. Process Intake employees scan all the checks that the department receives in the office into the system, it’s just a matter of bookkeeping. I had to go back and look at three different checks to make sure we had documented them appropriately. In a matter of seconds I had them at my finger tips.’’

Integration was also a critical feature for FCSO. The DocuPhase iLink technology provides seamless integration to Sungard, a public safety system. FCSO uses Sungard as its department enterprise platform for such things as Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), Detention Center management, mugshots, and records management. ‘‘iLink was one of the selling points because it allowed us to integrate with our current applications. It’s an incredible solution, it just fits in perfectly with the workflow that we currently have without a lot of process changes.’’

Access over the Internet that DocuPhase provides is important as well. For example, every one of the 125 patrol officers with an in-car computer can now access such files as arrest records, hand-written instant reports, and case information immediately from the field. Now that the FCSO has been automated, it plans to extend DocuPhase to the Administration Department. FCSO expects to similarly extend DocuPhase to the District Attorney’s Office for direct access to prosecution records that officers have created related to current and past arrests and convictions.