POLICE Magazine Supplements

Special Report 2016

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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8 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 T he old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But when something is broken, it's an- other story as the Garden Grove (CA) Police Department found out when it dug into department work- flow and processes. Capt. Travis Whitman has been with the Orange County, CA, agency for nearly six years, but it wasn't until he shied into support services, which handles all of the agency's records, that he got a real eye awakening. "We were reviewing our processes to see how we could improve efficiencies because we were having a problem with getting crime reports to detectives in a timely manner," he says. "In doing that, we found that our processes were really out of date and not consistent with the rest of the industry." e antiquated processes were "actu- ally slowing the workflow down," Whit- man says. "We were on a paperless re- port-writing system, but it was more of a form filler, workflow-type system that was customized around our processes." Most of the department's soware tools were custom systems, designed to operate over the years with existing legacy systems already in place. e re- cords management system (RMS) was actually a homegrown system that was built by the agency's information tech- nology (IT) department approximately 20 years ago. IT later attached report writing soware to the existing system, but the two soware tools "never really communicated well with each other," he says, "and it caused a lot of internal problems." Further complicating mat- ters was the fact that Garden Grove's computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system was nearing the end of its life. "We were actually buying parts for it on Amazon because we couldn't get disk drives for it anymore; they didn't make them," he says. "We were at a crossroads with a lot of our main tech- nology pieces." Whitman says they looked at off-the- shelf products, which seemed like the optimal and most efficient approach to get the functionality they desired. "We sought an integrated system, where everything worked together, because that's always been one of our challenges. We had 15 standalone systems that we were trying to make talk to each other. e systems didn't integrate well, and we ended up with a lot of duplicate re- cords and corrupt data." e department put out a request for proposal (RFP) for an integrated system, which narrowed the field of options to three bids. Spillman Tech- The Garden Grove PD found upgrading to an entirely new software system can be seamless if you follow the right steps. RONNIE GARRET T SIX STEPS to a Successful Software Installation The Garden Grove (CA) PD transitioned from its 20-year-old software to a solu- tion from Spillman Technologies.

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