Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $340,000)
The Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office is proposing to create a Cyber Unit team in our office using grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Waukesha County would hire a prosecutor, support staff to handle the increase in discovery demands, and an intern to assist in listening to jail calls. In addition to this three-person team, we would incorporate the necessary software, Adobe Pro, to increase the efficiency of preparing cases for prosecution.
Providing staff with the necessary technology to more efficiently perform their daily duties is extremely important to the success of our Cyber Unit. Therefore, we plan to replace a DVD duplicator tower, as well as purchase some additional pieces of equipment, including a Blu-ray duplicator tower and a USB duplicator tower in the first year of the project. In the second year of the project, we would add another USB duplicator and a hard drive duplicator tower to assist in the larger, more complex cases. Our proposal also includes the purchase of ScanWriter software that will convert financial documents into Excel and assist in the analyzation with Microsoft Power Bi. Therefore, we have also included two additional Power Bi software licenses, which will allow paralegals to review and assist prosecutors with different aspects of analyzation for complex case charging decisions. These tools will also assist in creating demonstrative exhibits throughout the project.
The Cyber Unit will benefit residents of Waukesha County who have any type of judicial interaction, to include defendants, victims, and witnesses, as well as those who work in the judicial system. Due to the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic, our circuit courts are considering the addition of a sixth criminal judge to the bench beginning in approximately August 2021. Adding a sixth judge to our already short-staffed prosecutorial team will continue to overwhelm the District Attorney’s Office. Increases in technology and support staff are needed to keep up with the increased caseload and to charge incoming referrals in a timely manner.
Waukesha County’s goals with this project include: reducing the amount of time it takes to review and make charging decisions on complex computer-enabled crimes; reducing the amount of time it takes to respond to discovery demands from defense counsel; and increasing the efficiency of our team by providing the software and hardware technology necessary to perform essential statutory requirements.