Preble County, Ohio Prosecutor's OfficeMartin P. Votel, Prosecuting Attorney

Prosecutor Martin P. Votel Announces Technology Initiative

Published on July 7th, 2017

Summary

“Matrix”, a state-of-the-art case management system designed specifically for Ohio prosecutor’s offices, has revolutionized the way business is done in the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office

Technology, when properly applied, not only saves public money: it can have an amazing impact on office productivity. In August 2015, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney began using Matrix, a case management software specifically designed for Ohio prosecutors. Fast-forward nearly two years, and the office is virtually “paperless”. Gone are the mammoth file cabinets which used to house hundreds of paper files, replaced instead by electronic files maintained securely “in the cloud.” These files are available to our prosecutors at work, at home, and in the courtroom via secure wireless connections. Each prosecutor now has our entire caseload at their fingertips twenty-four hours a day, and the former file room is now the copy room.

With Matrix, police agencies use a secure web portal to send police reports directly to the prosecutor’s office. Prosecutors review cases on-line and communicate with police officers electronically – no paperwork is sent or received. When charges are appropriate, prosecutors can prepare all charging documents with a few clicks of a mouse. As cases progress through the court system, Matrix is used to exchange discovery with defense attorneys, prepare plea offers, and produce court paperwork (the system “auto-populates”, meaning it automatically enters the correct data into every court document, including case number, criminal code section, defendant name, etc.).

Because Matrix is used for “law enforcement purposes”, the law permitted the initial purchase of the software to be made from the Prosecutor’s “Law Enforcement Trust Fund”. This fund contains money seized from drug traffickers prosecuted in Preble County – it does not contain a single cent of taxpayer money. Naturally, the increase in productivity has reduced labor and storage costs – manual tasks such as filing, discovery preparation, document preparation, and the like are no longer required. Beginning in fiscal year 2018, this increase in productivity will generate savings sufficient to cover the annual Matrix licensing fee, with thousands of dollars left over to satisfy other budgetary needs without additional public funding.

Prosecutor Martin P. Votel: Over the past dozen years, the annual budget appropriation of the Prosecutor’s Office has been reduced over 10% in actual dollars* and personnel has been reduced 25%. These reductions, though regrettable, are necessary in an era of ever-increasing criminal and civil caseloads and limited resources. The smart use of technology is, in part, responsible for our ability to accomplish more of the public’s business with fewer tax dollars. Please feel free to call the Prosecutor’s Office with any questions about our technology initiative, 456-8156.

*2004 Budget Appropriation = $600,831.00; 2017 Budget Appropriation = $538,924.62 (Preble Auditor).

Old File Cabinets - Now Gone

Old File Cabinets - Now Gone