Want to stay connected to Denton County? Watch for my column each month for updates and events happening in Precinct 3 and around the county.
Our Denton County Records Management Department
When you think of a “government record,” what comes to mind? Do you picture a file in a folder? Your birth certificate? Standing in line to fill out a form and renew your driver’s license? Maybe you envision a dark, secluded file room from a scene in your favorite crime show. All of these things have something in common: paper. However, in today’s world a majority of our business is conducted digitally. Think about it — when was the last time you sent a hand-written letter instead of an e-mail? Business in government agencies is no different. In Texas, a government record is defined as anything that documents public business, regardless of its physical format. This means that local governments like Denton County are responsible for efficiently creating and preserving all types of documents, including those that are created and stored digitally. So, you may be asking yourself, how does Denton County manage the massive amount of information created and received?
In 1989, the Texas Legislature passed the Local Government Records Act, recognizing that the citizens of the state have a right to expect, and the state has an obligation to foster, efficient and cost-effective government. This law recognizes the central importance of local government records in the lives of all citizens. In 1991, Denton County Commissioners Court passed the Denton County Records Management Program Resolution to lay out the policies and procedures for managing records across our local government. The records management division was assigned the task of assisting each county department with following these laws, policies and best practices for their records. As technology advanced over time and government records became increasingly integrated with technology, the need for greater control over digital records became apparent. To address this need, the records management division was reorganized to become a part of the Department of Technology Services in 2012.
With more than 50 departments and more than 1,700 Denton County employees to serve, the records management division has their work cut out for them. The Denton County records management team is comprised of seven records technicians who complete digitization projects, provide customer service and consultation for each department and maintain our records center. The division is led by Denton County’s Records Management Officer (RMO), who is the senior records official ultimately responsible for ensuring the county’s compliance with state and local records regulations.
Denton County’s services and operations are diverse, and so are our records and the technology that creates and stores those records. For example, we have law enforcement records, health records, court records and even the documentation of our administrative departments like human resources and purchasing. All of these records are stored in various software applications and formats. To make the management of these records even more challenging, the same type of record may be stored in several different formats, even within the same office. It would be a daunting task for the records management division to manage everything alone. That’s why Denton County also has 67 records liaison officers in the various departments across our county. The liaisons are appointed by elected officials or department heads to be a point of contact for records policy implementation, training, and information sharing. Since records management policy can be confusing and sometimes complex, one of the main focuses of the records management division is outreach and training for records liaison officers and others within their departments.
Denton County Health Department and Services you may have never known about
Aside from primary care providers, specialists, nurses and pharmacists, what other services or providers are included in healthcare and well-being? From epidemiologists who track infectious disease rates and distribution within Denton County communities to environmental health workers investigating and enforcing septic or standing water concerns, the skilled team at Denton County Public Health provides health services that prevent, promote, and protect the communities’ health in unique ways that may go unnoticed. All of these services uniquely protect Denton County but do not traditionally fall under the topic of healthcare. Prevention includes communicating with primary providers on infection prevalence and educating on the importance of immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases. DCPH utilizes promotion to encourage healthy living within communities, whether it is initiating coalitions for access to care or services, encouraging healthier eating or providing education on the health related benefits of exercise. Lastly, DCPH protects residents within Denton County with experts in the field of surveillance and monitoring and pursuing policies that further the health of our communities. While healthcare is often the services we receive at the doctor’s office, DCPH continues to lead our communities to a healthier future with unique and invaluable services that benefit the entire county.
Did you know?
Suicide rates have increased in almost every state in the US from 1999 to 2016, and the most recent data shows that number is still rising. Within Denton County, 98 deaths by suicide were reported in 2017, up from 88 in 2016. As this number grows, it is vitally important for communities to work together to support and connect at-risk individuals to mental and physical healthcare options. More than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition and instead had many other factors that contributed to feelings of hopelessness, per CDC reports. Relationship problems, impending or recent crisis, substance use and either financial or health problems are all factors reported that contributed to suicide and are areas we can look for solutions to within our communities to help prevent suicide. If you are concerned for a friend, neighbor or family member’s wellbeing, BeThe1To.com advises five simple steps to help someone at risk including ask, keep them safe, be there, help them connect, then follow up. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, confidential, 24/7 service that provides support, information and local resources to people in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress or those around them. Visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org or CDC.gov/vitalsigns/suicide/index.html for resources and additional information.
Shady Shores Road Improvements in Lake Dallas
Denton County will continue work on surface road improvements for Shady Shores Road from Main Street to just south of Swisher Road in coordination with the City of Lake Dallas. Construction will close the road to northbound traffic through the project. If you have any questions about the project, call Lake Dallas Public Works at 940-497-4484. The project is currently expected to be complete by mid-August.
Lewisville Selects a New Chief of Police
Welcome to Lewisville’s recently announced Kevin Deaver as the next Chief of Police, who will succeed Chief Russ Kerbow upon his retirement. Many thanks to Chief Kerbow and congratulations to Officer Deaver.
North Texas Fair and Rodeo
The North Texas Fair and Rodeo runs Aug. 17-25. It is sure to be filled with something for everyone to enjoy, so don’t miss out on the best Entertainment of the summer right here in our own backyard in Denton County, just a short drive up the highway to Denton.
Learn more about the event here.
Connect With Us
Be sure and connect with Denton County on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DentonCountyTX and on Twitter @DentonCountyTX.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is email@example.com and my office number is 972-434-4780.