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How Law Enforcement is Keeping Northern California Community Safer… by Simply Going Digital

Contributed by Albert Tong of Butte County

Minutes mean everything for law enforcement when it comes to crime. That’s why the process of having to sign search warrants via paper is not efficient or effective.

No matter the severity, the fourth amendment requires law enforcement to legally procure a signed search and seizure warrant before entering into an area that has legitimate claim to privacy.

On Sept. 11, 2012, as reported by Roger Kay in a Forbes article, Wayne Renner barricaded himself in his apartment armed with .20 caliber M1 carbine with every intent to use them on innocent victims in the vicinity. The location was Chico, in Butte County, where I work and where since 2010 electronic signatures have been used for securing search warrants.

Our District Attorney Mike Ramsey vividly recalls the “20th’ Century” tactics that came into immediate play in order to procure the search warrant. The enforcement teams powered up their laptops and sent a DocuSign envelope so a judge could eSign it. The judge in question was 23 miles away from the scene. Instead of hours, only 20 minutes was needed to DocuSign the search warrant so police could take action. This unfortunate, but sadly common, scenario points out an essential need: we must power police forces with technology to save time and lives.

Benefits of Law Enforcement Agencies Going Digital

  • Crime Keeps No Time Table Especially in the dark of the night. Electronic signing tools like DocuSign are available on mobile so a judge can eSign a warrant from his or her mobile device and green light enforcement to do their job.
  • Less Costs and More Resources – Instead of allocating precious resources to paper and labor, let police enforcement cut to the chase and stomp out the crime instead of volleying paper.
  • Instant Warrants for Instant Safety – so why waste time on a signing ceremony: Just eSign to quickly gain search warrants.

Look to us at Butte County for inspiration. By driving the adoption of DocuSign, we were able to preserve the safety of our community and put criminals behind bars faster. If you live in a county without eSigning implementation for law enforcement, please share our story with your local District Attorney’s Office. To see the benefit first-hand in Butte County, watch this video:



  1. Robert Kicklighter

    June 25, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Can we get the electronic warrant in Ga?

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the question. I’d recommend reaching out to the DocuSign Community Hub — it’s a great resource for connecting with other customers and DocuSign employees. They should be able to offer advice regarding electronic warrants. https://support.docusign.com/en/community

      Thanks again for commenting and please let us know if there’s any other way we can assist.

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