A Maricopa County Sheriff’s official in Phoenix said his office’s takeover of a county computer system was prompted by repeated requests by the state to protect sensitive criminal-justice data, reports the Arizona Republic. Chief Deputy David Hendershott said the state Department of Public Safety was concerned that civilians could have inappropriate access to criminal-history records in the system.
The sheriff took control of the Integrated Criminal Justice Information System from county employees on Wednesday. The system links the county’s criminal-justice agencies to state and national databases that hold criminal records, court dates, probation and personal information. The computer system works as an electronic hub that allows the agencies to share information. Under state and federal law, a criminal-justice agency must manage the system. In the wake of the deteriorating economy and deep budget cuts, County Manager David Smith last year moved the system’s information-technology positions to the Office of Enterprise Technology.