The Westmoreland County Clerk of Courts office is going mobile.
The Westmoreland County Commissioners at Thursday’s meeting approved an agreement with OCV, LLC for $14,995 to develop custom native iPhone and Android mobile applications for the office. The agreement also includes annual support renewal at a cost of $5,995 per year.
Clerk of Courts Brian L. Kline said he has been looking forward to making his office’s services more accessible to the public through a mobile app for some time, long before the coronavirus (COVID-19) made social distancing and remote access a necessity.
The app is expected to be released before the end of October, Kline said.
The Clerk of Courts office is responsible for maintaining the records and dockets for the Court of Common Pleas and is also responsible for collecting fines, costs and restitution.
The cost of the app is being covered using a $5 automation fee assessed to cases that come through the Clerk of Courts office.
The automation fund money is to be used for increasing public access to the Clerk of Courts office.
“You really can’t do that in today’s society moreso than by developing an app,” Kline said.
“There’s roughly 348,000 people in Westmoreland County and it’s estimated that around 248,000 people have a smartphone and use that as their primary means of communication.”
OCV, LLC specializes in developing apps for public safety organizations like police and sheriff’s departments, emergency management agencies and fire departments, according to its website, and has developed more than 500 custom applications over roughly nine years.
“We’re going to use it to engage the community,” Kline said of the mobile application. “We can send out alerts from the Clerk of Courts office of public importance, we can make resources available on it. Basically, you’ll have the functions of my office and the information at your fingertips. I plan on having the court calendar on there. You’re going to be able to make payments, you’re going to be able to search criminal records through the app. It’s going to be linked up with AOPC (Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts). There’s going to be everything you could do at the Clerk of Courts office, basically, at you fingertips.”