UNION — A new interactive component of the Union County Sheriff’s Office website will go live Monday morning.
At 8 a.m. Monday, a “Jail Division” link will be added to the Sheriff’s Office website (www.unionscsheriff.com), and one click of a mouse will give the general public access to mugshots, charges and basic information for anyone who is incarcerated in the Union County Jail. The information will be updated within 15 minutes of the person going through processing at the jail. Once they are released, the information will disappear from the database.
“Spartanburg, Greenville, Laurens and all surrounding counties already have this,” said Sheriff David Taylor. “We have an officer who looks at their websites every morning.”
Now, other counties will be able to keep up with Union County’s daily jail population as well. Taylor said the online database will include the same information found on a booking sheet, minus the person’s social security number. Each case will also include which agency made the arrest with either SO (for Sheriff’s Office), HP (for Highway Patrol), PD (for City of Union Department of Public Safety) or JO (for Jonesville Police Department).
Taylor also said GIS Coordinator Linda Mitchell was a key component of the new feature, as she has worked on it for months.
The sheriff’s office purchased the new program — which automatically receives the information from the Law Trak system already used by the sheriff’s office — at the relatively low cost of $500.
“We’ve been able to continue to build on what we already have in place,” Taylor said.
Taylor explained that the program will save his office from printing booking sheets and wasting paper. It will also cut down on phone calls from the public to the jail with questions regarding those who are incarcerated. Taylor said the biggest advantage is this will allow the media to access the information immediately. In the case that something happens over the weekend, media outlets would be able to access photos and information immediately, rather than having to wait until Monday morning.
Taylor said links to the database will be posted on the Sheriff’s Office and Crimestoppers Facebook pages.
Taylor said he will continue to make technological advances within his office, and he hopes to have laptops in patrol cars within the next four years. He said this would allow officers to download incident reports in the field. Another advantage of the laptops would be that officers could be dispatched electronically, cutting down on radio use as well as traffic at crime scenes. Taylor said the only hold-up right now is the monthly expense of wireless Internet cards for each laptop.
The “Jail Division” link is already available at www.unionscsheriff.com, and the new database will be available beginning Monday morning.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.