Going digital saving time, money and space for VPD - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Going digital saving time, money and space for VPD

Volunteers have digitally filed thousands of documents already (Source: WALB) Volunteers have digitally filed thousands of documents already (Source: WALB)
Empty filing cabinets mean more space and money for the department (Source: WALB) Empty filing cabinets mean more space and money for the department (Source: WALB)
Commander Bobbi McGraw, VPD (Source: WALB) Commander Bobbi McGraw, VPD (Source: WALB)
Mickey Williamson, volunteer (Source: WALB) Mickey Williamson, volunteer (Source: WALB)
David Vondersmith, Public Safety IT Manager (Source: WALB) David Vondersmith, Public Safety IT Manager (Source: WALB)
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

The Valdosta Police Department is saving money by clearing space. 

Files are scanned, and one by one put into an online filing system. All to help the Valdosta Police Department run more efficiently. 

"Take the element of paper out and go to a more computer based file management system," said  Commander Bobbi McGraw with the Valdosta Police Department.

Each file is carefully reviewed and they are all put into the system. 

Then hard copies that need to be stored are kept and the others are destroyed. 

"Learning and understanding what we had to save and what could be disposed of," explained volunteer Mickey Williamson.

They've done this with thousands of files so far, dating back decades. 

Roughly 40 filing cabinets have been cleared out. 

"We think that people try to see how many pieces of paper they can get in it because it's in there like a wedge in a vice," said Williamson.

And the hands behind the operation, all work for free.

"Graciously volunteer their time to come in and do this tedious, time consuming work," explained McGraw. 

"Just the process and knowing that you're helping," said Williamson.

The Police Department no longer has to store files off-site, which costs anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a year. 

Tax payer dollars officials said can now be used more efficiently. 

The system also creates an easier way to share files with other departments. 

"Compile everything within a case file and allow the DA's office to pull all that down digitally," said Public Safety IT Manager David Vondersmith.

With roughly 6,000 new cases a month, it's a process that will take a while. Though officials said that it's worth the time and effort. 

"We're saving space, we're saving money, we're saving time," explained McGraw.

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