Sher­iff’s of­fice fixes er­ror caus­ing stats un­der­re­port­ing

The Covington News - - Front page - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­news.com

New­ton County School Re­source Of­fi­cers have a re­fined process for re­port­ing in­ci­dents that hap­pen in New­ton County schools af­ter an over­sight caused around 1,200 re­ports to be omit­ted from those given to lo­cal me­dia.

The prob­lem was no­ticed when a few re­ports that were a year old popped up re­cently, which led of­fi­cials to launch an ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion go­ing back five years to the in­cep­tion of the SRO pro­gram in the county’s mid­dle and high schools.

Of­fi­cials found that re­ports were be­ing worked and leads were be­ing fol­lowed up on, but the re­ports were get­ting lost in the NCSO’s com­puter sys­tem be­cause the cor­rect box was not be­ing clicked in the sher­iff’s of­fice in­ter­nal soft­ware. As a re­sult, the re­ports were not go­ing where they needed to be in the sys­tem.

Lt. Keith Crum said the

in­ci­dent was purely cler­i­cal and that no in­ci­dents oc­cur­ring at the schools were ig­nored or not fol­lowed up on prop­erly.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the glitch would in no way af­fect the in­di­vid­ual school’s dis­ci­plinary num­bers (which The News used to do a school dis­ci­pline com­par­i­son re­cently), since the NCSO and the schools each keep their own re­ports for ev­ery in­ci­dent.

Hun­dreds of re­ports were lost in the NCSO’s com­puter sys­tem. Files from all SROs, both cur­rent and past, were checked, and each of them had re­ports that went un­printed.

A newly cre­ated in­struc­tion man­ual in­structs SROs on how they should re­port an in­ci­dent, from as­sign­ing a case num­ber to the com­ple­tion of the re­port, in­clud­ing what box should be clicked in or­der for the re­ports to go where they need to.

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