The Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas and Kansas City, Kansas—or WYCOKCK for short—has more than one department using our FOIA software. Wyandotte County is the smallest county in the state of Kansas and is named after the Wyandot Native Americans. Kansas City is the 3rd largest city in the state of Kansas and is the county seat of Wyandotte County. In 1997, voters unanimously approved the consolidation of the city and county governments and thus WYCOKCK was born.
We met Bridgette Cobbins, the City Clerk from Unified Government Clerk’s Office, at a Code for America Summit in 2016. It was great timing given that WYCOKCK was looking for a better solution for managing their ever-growing number of records requests. After the Unified Government Clerk’s Office brought on NextRequest, the WYCOKCK Court wanted to adopt it for their department to respond to requests for certified court records.
“Our records request process was cumbersome and inefficient, but now we’re paperless and easy to operate,” Crystal Sprague
Meet Crystal Sprague, the Court Administrator for the Kansas City, Kansas Municipal Court. As a new addition to the Court, Crystal quickly realized that the Court’s records requests needed a better solution. Prior to NextRequest, the Court was handling records requests primarily via paper and “crushing fax loads”. There wasn’t any tracking for response times and duplicate requests had made the Court a “poor partner in the criminal justice landscape.”
As luck would have it, Bridgette, the Unified Government Clerk, extended the opportunity to use NextRequest as a software solution to the Court.
Before the Court could even begin implementing NextRequest they had to ensure that all requests were private and would not be released to the public. Criminal justice agencies that request records, such as the FBI, request using date of birth (DOB) and Social Security numbers (SSN). This information is highly confidential and any personal information released to the public is a huge liability to any agency.
The Court was able to verify that all requests would remain private. After they began managing records requests through NextRequest, they were surprised to find that they are using the software a lot more than they ever expected.
Now the Court is an efficient records requesting machine.
Lots of agencies adopt NextRequest records management software one department at a time. This allows agencies to verify the software’s value and then act as internal advocates to bring other departments onboard. We work closely with all of our customers to make sure that if they would like to help a new department onboard with NextRequest that they have the tools and training to help make it a successful transition.
If your agency is in need of a more efficient, more holistic approach to records request management, get in touch—we’d love to chat.