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TM :: Northwest Arkansas Northwest Arkansas Times

New Software Better Connects Courts, Police

BY KATE WARD   Northwest Arkansas Times

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 


When it comes to communication, the city of Fayetteville no longer relies on sticky notes or playing phone tag.

After a six-month conversion process, the city has replaced its old software program with new case management software by MSI Consulting Group LLC, which is designed to generate effortless communication between local courts and law enforcement.

“ MSI has converted the data off New World’s Novadyne system, ” said Stephen Davis, program contract manager. “ Most folks don’t celebrate software conversion, but this has been in the city’s queue since the 1990 s. ”

City officials celebrated the conversion on Tuesday during a cake-cutting ceremony in the Fayetteville District Courtroom.

“ In 2005, we lost a power supply, and it took the Fayetteville IT (information technology ) staff numerous tries to find a new one, ” Davis said. “ They finally located two on eBay, and they were the only two in the entire continental U. S. That’s when we realized that the hardware was irreplaceable and irreparable. ”

District court staff assisted by police, information technology and finance staff selected MSI’s Virtual Justice software following a multiyear search for the most cost-effective and user-friendly case management software. The new software replaced New World’s Novadyne software — a program that had been in use for more than 22 years.

“ They’ve streamlined the process of when people pay their tickets, ” Davis said. “ No longer does the police department have to rely on sticky notes. All they have to do is enter the data into the computer and when the case is adjudicated, it goes away. ”

Davis said the new software will be routinely updated by MSI officials thanks to an ongoing maintenance agreement that will reduce the need for Fayetteville information technology support.

The project was initiated in June by the city project team and representatives of MSI.

“ This new software is being used by 105 district and city courts in Arkansas, ” said Bryan Smith, MSI Consulting Group vice president. “ We’ve been promoting software since 1984. ”

In addition to streamlining the court case management process, Smith said the Virtual Justice software has also streamlined the payment acceptance and elimination of numerous “ off-system” procedures to match payments with fine and fee assessment.

“ Now they have a 30 user system — that’s 30 separate computers, ” he said. “ So far, it’s really helped speed up the communication and information processing between the district court, police department, probation department, and prosecuting attorney’s office. ”

Smith said the data conversion process began in August and concluded in October.

“ It’s taken time but was a well-thought-out process, ” said Fayetteville District Court Judge Rudy Moore. “ It will make the process a lot easier as we grow and take on new responsibilities. ”

City officials began using the new software in December.

“ This is only phase one of the project, ” Smith said. “ Phase two will be the implementation of e-ticketing. Police officers will enter their data into a handheld device. When they come back to the police department, they will put it into a docking port and the information will be directly transferred into the computer system. ”

Smith said e-ticketing will greatly reduce the risk for lost information.

Copyright © 2001-2007 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

"Pictures Of Fayetteville Celebration"


             "Rest In Peace"                        District Court Staff                     Bryan Smith, MSI                   Stephen Davis,

             Cake For Old System               Beth Ledbetter,                           Consulting Group V.P.,         Davis Business Planning,

                                                                 Jayne Davis                                 Dena Stockalper,                    Project Manager

                                                                                                                        District Court Clerk       


             District Court                             Bryan Smith, MSI V.P..             Judge Rudy Moore,                Bryan Smith, MSI V.P.           

             Judge Rudy Moore,                  Kate Ward, N.W.                       Judy Cohea,                             Cathy Kautzer, Fayetteville IT

             Mayor Dan Coody                    Arkansas Times                         P.D. Services Manager           Stephen Davis, Project Mgr.


            Bryan Smith, MSI V.P.                Mayor Dan Coody,                 Mayor Dan Coody,                   District Court Staff

            Cathy Kautzer,  IT,                      Judy Cohea, P.D.                    Crpl. Darrin Wright,                   Gay Reynolds,

            Stephen Davis, DBP                                                                      Anna Baggett, Warrants           Jayne Davis


            District Court                              Bryan Smith, MSI

            Judge Rudy Moore,                   Consulting Group V.P. 

            Mayor Dan Coody                   


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