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RFID Tracks Arrests for Florida Sheriff's Office

Guardian RFID's Arrestee Management System, installed in time for the Tampa Republican National Convention, will provide the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office with an automated method for tracking every step of the booking process.
By Claire Swedberg
The arrestees were then transported to a transfer area, or were moved directly to jail. There, the staff employed a combination of handheld readers and RF IDeas desktop interrogators to identify every time that an individual underwent a procedure, such as having fingerprints or a mug shot taken. The sheriff's office could then log into the AMS software to access information regarding how long a particular individual spent at each location, and to determine if he or she spent an excessive amount of time at any given area. Other actions could also be documented, such as removing the individual from the booking process to use the bathroom or receive another service. In these cases, staff members carrying handhelds could read the arrestee's wristband tag and input information indicating which service was being provided, and by whom.

Although only two arrests occurred at the Republication National Convention, Previtera says, the technology provided confidence on the part of the sheriff's office that it could manage a large number of arrests, if necessary. What's more, he adds, it continues to be a useful tool. The county office had only to invest in the wristbands, as it was able to use the existing reader hardware. The office will pay for the AMS software only if it launches the system for day-to-day arrests or prisoner movements.

With the Guardian RFID system, a police officer uses a handheld device to read the tag ID number encoded to an arrestee's wristband.

Additionally, the sheriff's office utilized Codex technology to clock the hours of employees working overtime shifts throughout the event. Between 700 and 900 workers carried high-frequency (HF) Guardian RFID tags, Previtera explains, each containing a unique ID number linked to his or her name on the Codex server. An employee read the tag using one of the desktop readers upon arriving for work during the convention, and again at shift's end. This data provided the office with necessary details pertaining to the hours each employee worked. This was important, he says, because the convention ended on Aug. 30, and the fiscal year ended on Sept. 30—thus, all payroll information had to be received by the county before the latter date.

Previtera says he believes the AMS solution will be slated for inclusion in the county's 2014 budget. If the budget goes through as planned, he expects that the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will use the technology for day-to-day arresting and the management of transported inmates, in order to document all of the processes that take place during each arrest or movement. "When you consider we move 450 inmates a day, you can see how the ability to track them would be helpful." He adds that he could then use that information to improve operations if he were able to view where bottlenecks or delays commonly occur.

According to Dalley, the technology is now being marketed to other agencies, and the company is currently in discussions with another U.S. police agency about the solution.

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