Inside LADA

October 8, 2020: Online Case Submissions Double During Pandemic

Online Case Submissions Double During Pandemic

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the District Attorney’s Office doubled the number of cases presented for criminal filing consideration without detectives having to leave their desks.

Previously, a detective had to walk a case into an office for a deputy district attorney to review before criminal charges could be filed. That was time-consuming for law enforcement personnel, and, in the age of COVID-19, an unnecessary health risk.

In an effort to reduce its footprint in public buildings, the office expanded a 2016 program that allows law enforcement personnel to submit electronically case documents, such as police reports, directly to filing deputy district attorneys throughout Los Angeles County.

Nearly 20% of all cases were submitted using the Electronic Charge Evaluation Request (eCER) program in September, up from just 8% in January. A total of 26 police departments and 20 sheriff’s stations use the electronic program to present cases for criminal case filing review.

“This program allows deputy district attorneys to review cases at the click of the button and gives detectives more time in the field for investigation,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “It is another example of how technology is improving our efficiency, while also helping us to stop the spread of the coronavirus by reducing public contact in our workplace.”

After the detective uploads a file, a deputy district attorney may review the materials on a computer screen. Detectives receive an email notifying them that the case was accepted or declined or needs further investigation. The system also archives all submitted documents, allowing them to be easily viewed at any time by deputy district attorneys.

The program is expected to be made available to every primary law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County within 18 months.