Hennepin County is moving the Sheriff’s Office information technology, or IT, staff to county jurisdiction.
The change will transfer 17 staffers from the Sheriff’s Office to the county’s IT department, which will reduce duplication of services and increase collaboration, Commissioner Randy Johnson said Tuesday. The move will not cost the county money or affect staff but could save money over time, he added.
“It’s the only stand-alone IT department in the country for reasons that I don’t even remember,” Johnson said.
The move comes after the Sheriff’s Office launched a new policy to delete its e-mails after just 30 days. However, Johnson said the change, which he initiated this week, wasn’t in response to the sheriff’s new policy. Instead, commissioners cited a November 2015 staffing study that recommended transferring the sheriff’s IT division to that of the county.
The Sheriff’s Office has come under scrutiny by legislators and transparency advocates for the e-mail policy that started Sept. 1. Before then, the office kept e-mails indefinitely.
The remainder of Hennepin County e-mails, from the county’s attorney’s office to the County Board, will be automatically deleted after six months under a countywide policy that starts in 2017.
County leaders say that the policy change will save $2 million next year in e-mail storage by deleting unnecessary e-mails while keeping those deemed necessary for the official record.