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On Feb. 1, the federal government finally set aside the money to equip the Dallas County Office of the District Attorney with an invaluable crime-fighting tool. Now, says First Assistant DA Mike Carnes, it’s only a matter of time before every DA in the office gets a personal computer. “The county commissioners are going to allow us to place order them in early February,” says Carnes, “so at some point this year, we should be wired up, hooked up and on line.” This means the DA’s office can e-mail news of a continuance or a plea to a police officer before he or she leaves for the courthouse. And DAs will be able to do research online and type their own letters and briefs, easing some of the load on office secretaries. Not that Carnes thinks the office necessarily needs the hardware. “Everything has been operating the same way it was 50 years ago – very efficiently,” he says. “It’s amazing how well this office operates with fill-in-the-blank forms.”

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