The Information Technology Director, Bill Ward, performs responsible management, administrative, operational and planning duties specific to the position. The member oversees the various phases of technology strategy, implement tactics for acquisition of computer hard ware and software to meet the short, intermediate, and long term information needs of the agency, in the most cost effective manner to support the day-to-day mission of the office while ensuring the evolutionary development of systems to meet established goals and objectives.
The Division of Information Technology is comprised of the following Sections and Work Units:
- Application Support Section
- Enterprise Support Section
- Customer Support Section
- Networks Communication Section
Application Support Section- This section is responsible for managing, maintaining and supporting all software applications and systems. This includes both “in-house” developed legacy systems as well as third party acquired systems. The section also serves as the primary liaison point for all outside software systems vendors and contractors.
The Applications Support staff works closely with the IT Service Desk to address and resolve all internal and external Polk County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) customer’s issues with software applications.
They meet all customer needs with software coding errors and enhancement issues by maintaining a complete knowledge of all PCSO systems. The Applications Support staff are also responsible for researching, planning and recommending software and systems choices to meet the organization's business requirements. This includes being responsible for developing cost analyses, design considerations, implementation timelines, and generally feasibility studies of new computer systems before making recommendations to senior management.
With only a few exceptions, the majority of the programs used by the Polk County Sheriff's Office members on a daily basis were developed in-house by the Application Support Section. Currently they are in charge of more than sixteen systems, including Computer-Aided Dispatch, Remote Dispatch, Case Tracking, Fingerprinting, Fixed Assets, Pawn, Human Resources, Jail Management, Property/Evidence, Records Management, Report Writing, and Warrants. They also integrate these with both internal outsourced programs and external systems like FDLE's Florida Crime Information Center. In addition, the programmers develop and maintain the Sheriff's Office web site, in addition to the Sheriff's Office Intranet (The Break Room) and the Criminal Justice Network Inquiry site (Signal 14).
Enterprise Support Section - This section is responsible for agency wide overall IT hardware and software technology infrastructure. Major areas of responsibility includes: Data Center Operations, Technology Security, Data Processing, Data Storage, Data Protection (Backup & Recovery), Disaster Recovery, Database Structure, Database Administration, Virus Protection, Remote Access, VPN Support, and Physical Security of the PCSO data and data centers. Oversees PCSO Data Center structure, layout, daily operations, and processes. Responsibility for physical access and fire suppression protection of the data centers. Other responsibilities include all liaison and connectivity support along and interaction with other Law Enforcement, including local, county, state, and federal government agencies.
Customer Support Section– Responsible for all IT fiscal, contracts and licensing assurance issues. Includes IT budgeting, procurement, and asset inventory and maintenance contracts. Oversees the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. Assures overall technology licensing. Maintains and monitors all technology contracts. Keeps track of stocked IT equipment and supplies along with ordering all IT equipment, software, services and office supplies. Maintains PCSO IT standards.
Network Communication Section – This section is responsible for maintaining and supporting the countywide voice and data communications network utilized by the PCSO. The data network is the backbone for deputies and other law enforcement personnel to quickly communicate the vital information necessary to complete the dangerous and critical aspects of the PCSO. This includes all fiber connectivity and liaison responsibilities to the numerous outside agencies that interact with the PCSO. It is also vital for Detention Services for system support for the many daily functions preformed in the two major jail facilities operated by the PCSO.
The voice network includes cell phones, radios, and pagers that support the critical agency functions of 911 communications, radio communications between field deputies and support units both on the ground and in the air, in jail communications, special operations such as SWAT and Crisis Negotiations and emergency communications during times of disasters. Section staff works closely with external agencies that provide fiber connections and various data and voice telecommunications equipment and services. Other important section responsibilities include all Internet and Agency Intranet network connections and agency wide network printing solutions. Staff also get involved in new communications technology testing and support such as the new Hand Held PDA’s being used throughout the agency. They also provide the critical linkages needed to inter-connect the many PCSO facilities located around the county.
Workstation Support Section – This section is responsible for supporting all PCSO technology equipment. This primarily includes desktop and laptop computers as well as a variety of printers. The section maintains over thirty five hundred different types of computer processing equipment, located in more than 30 facilities, scattered over the 2,200 square mile Polk County area. The Workstation Support technicians work very closely with the IT Service Desk to repair and upgrade equipment, based on the complete inventory of computer-related equipment and software for the department. They are responsible for the images loaded on each desktop and laptop computer used by the PCSO. Additional duties include troubleshooting, repair and re-assembly, data connections, peripheral installation, software compatibility, data security, repair, and installation. Unique responsibilities include supporting exotic devices such as finger print devices, specialized aviation computers and modems, emergency coordination equipment and law enforcement wireless air-card computers and 911 communications workstations.
The Workstation Support Section also contains the IT Service Desk. The Service Desk is setup as the primary customer service liaison with internal and external PCSO customers. The IT Service Desk utilizes software automated methodology tools to initiate, process and track all customer IT service issues. The Service Desk technicians record, maintain and track all IT services request agency wide. Members can submit service requests by email, telephone or through the web, were members can create their own service request. Once a request is received by the service desk technician it is reviewed to see if the service desk technician can alleviate the problem, if not, it is then assigned to the appropriate IT support staff to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.