Williamson County, Texas, faced with a massive increase in its data storage needs tied to law enforcement needs, has been putting in place creative and cost-effective solutions to improve its digital evidence management system.

Technology is an increasingly fundamental part of state and local government, and putting in place automation, artificial intelligence, and blockchain have allowed state and local governments to maintain business operations, ramp up new programs and provide services that residents rely on.

For Williamson County, making its digital evidence management system more efficient had become a critical need, and taking the next step in the technology journey was a must.

Under the Michael Morton Act – a Texas law that requires prosecutors to turn over evidence both before and after trial to the defense and keep records of that evidence and exchange – the county has seen a big spike in data storage needs. To meet those requirements, it began to invest in its digital evidence management system to deliver a more efficient solution.

Richard Semple, the chief information officer for Williamson County, said that the agency partnered with Dell Technologies to incorporate solutions that would support their needs.

“We’re using the Dell PowerStore as our primary storage environment,” Semple said in a customer testimonial video. “With that investment in our digital evidence management system and the underlying storage, we have saved hundreds of man hours. It has also helped speed up the process of collecting and distributing digital evidence.”

According to Semple, leveraging tech capabilities offered through its partnership with Dell Technologies produced an approximately 50 percent increase in performance across the data centers.

In addition, the county was able to reduce its physical footprint from 32U of rack space down to 2U, which is about 94 percent of savings in physical space, “allowing us to operate more efficiently and with less cost,” Semple explained.

The agency also continues to deal with “an influx of larger video files and unstructured data coming to our offices. The ability for the solution to scale and deal with that influx of information has been important to us,” Semple said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.