July 2, 2014
Valdosta, GA - New technology is making it easier for law enforcement to serve warrants and catch criminals after hours.
They're calling it the Video Warrant System. The Lowndes County Magistrate Court is using it as a way to utilize time during that crucial "First 48" after a crime has been committed.
With the new system, law enforcement will no longer have to go to a judge's home in the middle of the night or on a weekend to get a warrant signed. Police can now video call the on-call judge whenever a crime is committed and get a warrant in a quarter of the time it used to take. Chief Magistrate Judge, Joni Parker, says the program not only saves time, but also will save money on the cost of gas to drive warrants to the judge and the jail.
"Crime happens 24/7. And we can't control when it does. There are times that officers need things very quickly. Either arrest warrants or search warrants", says Parker.
"We are on the clock. And when you talk about the first 48 hours, it really is the first 48", says Police Chief, Brian Childress.
Parker says VPD, The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, and Valdosta State Police are all using the program. Georgia State Patrol, the Hahira, Remerton, and Lake Park Police Departments are also getting on board.
Parker says in a digital age, she would rather have police patroling neighborhoods, and not filling out paper work. Plans are also underway to use video technology from the jail for an inmate's first appearance in court.