POLICE Magazine Supplements

Special Report 2016

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/737412

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Page 11 of 19

T he public safety profession currently is being pushed to de- liver a higher level of service to communities than ever before, oen with shrunken budgets. Law enforcement agencies are es- pecially pressed, which is why they have turned to technology to improve policing and keep communities safe. Technology tools can help officers respond to incidents and be more proactive in their work right where they need it most—in the field. In return, the technology gives sig- nificant time savings, higher productivity, and tighter cost management. is article will explore technologies that are making a difference in how law enforcement works while boosting officers' efficiency. Fully Use Your RMS An automated records manage- ment system (RMS) is, of course, the most ubiquitous type of tech- nology that agencies use. Sadly, many agencies tend to use their RMS for just a few capabilities, yet these automated systems of- fer a wide range of time- and cost-effective modules that can handle the needs of most depart- ments, especially small police departments. Any agency that acquires an RMS should use all of the modules contained in it. Most RMS offer modules focused on Calls For Service records, incident reports, Arrest and Booking, Be On Lookout (BOL), Jail Tracking, Property & Evidence, Registrants (Sex, Narcotic, Arson), and Warrants. Equally essential capabilities are Master Address, Name and Vehicle indexes, pre-built and custom reporting, and FBI UCR (Uniform Crime Report). When the Hereford (TX) Police Department purchased an RMS, it ini- tially was only interested in using the most obvious capabilities. "We would have been looking at something that could handle incidents, arrest report- ing, master name, address, and vehicle information," explains Captain Kirsten Williams. "But as officers realized how easy the soware was to use, they became curious and ex- plored its other modules," such as those for warrants, pawn, and sex offender registration. Integrated RMS For some agencies, an RMS needs to go beyond strictly law enforcement records management. at was the case for the Delaware (OH) County Sheriff's Office, which realized that the expanding needs of its depu- ties in the field required new soware that could meet the communications needs of law enforcement, fire, and EMS and that would make timely reporting and information sharing possible. e new program was comprised of a computer-aided dispatch module, plus modules addressing law enforcement records manage- ment, fire records management, EMS records man- agement, and jail management. "Our goal was to share resources and collaborate," Captain Scott Vance says. "We wanted one database for the whole county. is would reduce the workload on our personnel, but also enable us to offer services to other law enforcement agencies and EMS" Mobile Technology e availability of mobile technology has become a godsend for law enforcement, making RMS us- age in the field more powerful and complete. One of the most popular and effective mobile tools is a tab- let, which can store hundreds of documents. It is an easy and fast way for an officer to capture critical information at a crime scene. Equally important is that an officer can access his or her department's RMS database via the tablet. Tablets are small, mobile, lightweight, offer a touch screen, and have long battery life, plus officers can reference infor- mation on the tablet from any lo- cation. e tablets have front and back cameras, and can be plugged into a police cruiser. e Swanzey (NH) Police De- partment purchased tablets a few years ago because they enable an officer to accomplish so many tasks in the field compared to a laptop in a cruiser: photograph accident scenes; set up in a booking room at other agencies to take a suspect's photo while pulling up a CFS and report; write citations; perform house checks. Later, information gathered via the tablet can be synced with the department's main- frame computer. Officer Ben Boruchowitz of the Powell (OH) Po- lice Department uses a tablet routinely and sees big 12 S p e c i a l R e p o r t : L a w E n f o r c e m e n t S o f t w a r e A wide range of software helps agencies sharpen policing and response with real-time data. Measuring Your Return on Investment Bob Galvin South Sound 911 conducts training for fire and police per- sonnel on a new, centralized dispatch system.

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