Connecting rural judges and law enforcement

Thursday, May 31 2012

Expansive, sparsely-populated states may have trouble efficiently carrying out their law and order duties. In Nebraska, for example, the vast swathes of land between judges, defendants and law enforcement agents often mean expensive and time-consuming trips for hearings that take less than 10 minutes, according to The Associated Press.

Due to the fact that these meetings are required by law, alternatives have often been limited. However, with the increasing access to online conferencing, a few judges believed that the geographical difficulties of Nebraska could be minimized by embracing the new technology.

"The sheriff has to drive four hours and 200 miles for a five-minute deal," judge Russ Harford told the news source. "It really stretches the budgets, and it's something that video technology would help resolve."

Using video conferencing in the legal arena is not an entirely new idea. The technology has been used to help distant witnesses provide testimony in murder trials and to shelter the identities of endangered victims as well as easing the process of transporting prisoners to their parole hearings.

Across the country, law enforcement and local judicial branches are turning to the technology to promote safety, save money and streamline the legal process.