This story has been updated from its original version.
A little over two years after West Linn Police joined the Regional Justice Information Network (RegJIN) — a system that was expected to "modernize" police records over a network of 41 local department databases — WLPD is now joining several other departments in backing out of the network.
Acting Police Chief Neil Hennelly confirmed that decision, which was first reported by the Portland Mercury. RegJIN was created by the City of Portland to replace the Portland Police Data System (PPDS) and went live in April 2015. It also replaced the Clark County Records Management System (CRMS) and Clackamas County Sheriff's Office CLASS records management system, while a number of other municipal departments joined in the hopes of creating a more efficient and reliable records system.
West Linn's move to the RegJIN system was approved by the City Council in 2014, with the understanding that several thousand dollars would be added to the budget to cover costs for the RegJIN network. Prior to RegJIN, the WLPD used a basic word processing system to keep its records.
In the end, the RegJIN product did not work in the way WLPD anticipated it would. Moving forward, the department will transition into using a different system called Mark 43.
"The software chosen by (Portland Police) is a little cumbersome, it's not really updated and modern," Hennelly said. "I don't want to badmouth a product — there are products that fit the way we do it better. In Clackamas County, everyone but Lake Oswego got together and selected Mark 43 as more user-friendly for the way we operate."
Hennelly said the City has been operating on one-year contracts with RegJIN, and thus had to give six months' notice about leaving the network. WLPD will remain with RegJIN through the end of the year, at which point it will begin paying for Mark 43. Thus, the transition will not require paying for two systems at once.
"Mark 43 is a little more expensive, but not so much that it's cost prohibitive," Hennelly said. "Officers will be more productive writing reports and get out on the road more. The goal is to get officers out in the field rather than writing reports."
He added that residents and others who obtain records should not notice any major changes.
"We strongly believe in the data-sharing concept the other program promised, but it's not working well for the way we operate here," Hennelly said.