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High-tech tool helps fight crime

Henry County police will soon have software that is designed to help them track stolen goods that have been sold, or pawned.

The new software system will assist police in recovering stolen items pawned in a conventional manner, or online, or sold to metal recyclers, by coordinating a searchable database.

Any property stolen or sold within Henry County will connect to a nationwide database of searchable stolen property and suspected sellers, by serial number, description, photos, date/time stamps, and other classifications, according to county officials.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners authorized acceptance of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $30,940, for the online investigations software system.

Kimberly Monast, a research and development specialist for the Henry County Police Department, wrote the grant.

“Traditional channels of operation would include extensive man hours for research and site visits to the pawn shops,” said Monast. “Now, matches can be made almost instantaneously online, and perpetrators can be tracked across jurisdictions.”

Henry County officers requested the new software system after observing a demonstration by the Griffin Police Department.

County police will also coordinate their efforts with Locust Grove, Hampton and McDonough police departments. The city police agencies have agreed to participate in data sharing and linkage, to assist detectives in solving pawn and metal crimes throughout the county.

Because the City of McDonough already subscribes to such a system, the first year’s budget will pay for a complete tier 3 system for the Hampton, Locust Grove and Henry County police departments, and an upgrade from tier 2, to tier 3 for McDonough.