FINDLAY, Ohio — Whether it's a safety concern or simply curiosity, anyone can find an up-to-date list of Hancock County jail inmates with a quick online search.
The Hancock County Sheriff's Office has added to its website a public directory of inmates detained at the jail. The directory shows each defendant's photo, and lists basic personal information and the charges each faces.
Sheriff Michael Heldman said he first approached the office's software vendor with the idea about five years ago.
"A lot of things had to go into it to get it done," he said.
Before the directory was launched, determining whether a defendant was in jail or free on bond often required calling the jail's automated system or searching court records. Many callers instead asked on-duty corrections officers, which tied up staff, Heldman said.
In addition to those checking for public safety reasons, employers often called, Heldman said.
On the new directory, each inmate's page lists pending charges and which law enforcement agency made the arrest. It also includes a booking photo, age, height and weight, hair and eye color.
The site is automatically updated every few minutes. There was no site upgrade cost because of an ongoing contract, the sheriff said.
Ninety-one prisoners were in the jail on Wednesday night.
The directory is "convenient for the public and for everybody," Heldman said.
Heldman said the site may add a most-wanted criminals page, as other counties have done.