County prepares to get back online
Published 6:10 am Monday, April 10, 2017
LaGRANGE – Troup County officials hope to have their computer system back up and running Monday morning.
The Information Technology (IT) department worked on the system over the weekend and was scanning every computer for potential viruses.
It will be a fresh start to the week, after someone allegedly hacked into the countywide system early Friday morning – and held it “hostage.”
Troup County Manager Tod Tentler told the Daily News on Friday the crime was, “a virus affected all county computers.”
The source of the “virus” was not identified, but Tentler stated the incident did not occur by accident.
“We know that it was intentional,” he said on Friday.
The outage affected all county computers including systems within the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, 911, the Troup County District Attorney’s office and the LaGrange Police Department.
TCSO and LPD share the computer aided dispatch system used by Troup County. The case numbers used by law enforcement officers for every call for service are generated by the CAD system, said LPD Chief Lou Dekmar.
Troup County Sheriff deputies used “older” methods to handle police reports and booking people into the jail.
“We’re having to go back and use pen and paper to handle tickets and arrests,” said TCSO Chief Deputy Jon Whitney. “… this (situation) proves you can’t just rely on technology and you can’t throw away that stuff, like hand written reports. You have to keep it, just in case.”
Prosecutors in the Troup County District Attorney’s Office worked off laptops through the weekend, though some tasks would have to wait until the computer system was back online.
“Since our scanner is on the county server, we cannot use it to scan in files to our case management system. This impacts our ability to get a case timely processed and could pose a problem if the system does not get fixed soon,” stated Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Pete Skandalakis. “Since the sheriff’s office is impacted, we cannot electronically transfer warrants and, therefore, the inputting of our files is affected.”
The DA’s office also lost some forms and notes when the system crashed, Skandalakis admitted. But he believes the information can be retrieved.
“I do not expect this problem to impact the prosecution of any cases which have been indicted and are on trial calendars,” he stated. “Our case management system called ‘Tracker’ was developed by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. It has not been compromised and is on a different server operated through PAC …”
While there may be a lot of “catch up work” to do, most employees affected by the computer hack hope for a smooth transition back online.
Look for continued updates on this story on lagrangenews.com, the LaGrange News Facebook page and in the Tuesday edition of the LaGrange Daily News.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be contacted at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.