Why using the cloud is about more than just efficient storage
Police departments that store and manage data in the cloud can easily share it with other agencies, boosting collaborative efforts and closing more cases
By Police1 BrandFocus Staff
When used to its fullest capabilities by police departments, the cloud can be one of the most powerful, efficient and effective weapons in the law enforcement arsenal.
Storing data on password-secured records management systems (RMS) cloud platforms optimizes information sharing between law enforcement agencies. This boosts their ability to work with each other on police cases, expanding the reach of their investigations beyond individual jurisdictions in an efficient, accurate and cost-effective manner. Given that criminals tend to work across jurisdictions, it only makes sense for law enforcement to do the same – while staying entirely within the letter and intent of the law.
Within a department itself, storing records in the cloud ensures full access to all authorized members of the force, whether they are in patrol cars using mobile data terminals, tablets or laptop computers; at the station using desktop computers; on foot using smartphones or tablets, or even at home or out of town using whichever authorized devices are at hand.
THE MANY BENEFITS OF CLOUD-BASED POLICE WORK
When police data is stored, shared and made accessible in the cloud, investigators can quickly identify and correlate patterns of crime. They can collaboratively examine every piece of evidence from different departments to form a larger, more detailed picture of a perpetrator’s actions, plans, identities and errors – all of which can be analyzed to solve crimes more quickly.
But a cloud-based RMS can do much more for police departments. It can streamline their operations from end to end, making them more effective, accountable and transparent. Additionally, when law enforcement agencies deploy cloud-based solutions like CivicEye’s CivicRMS, the chance of officers making input errors is significantly reduced.
This speeds up police productivity and prosecutorial success in court. And when this data is centrally secured, monitored and defended by a dedicated provider like CivicEye, it stays safe from hackers and other hostile players.
Real-time access to data on the cloud also allows officers to work more efficiently and effectively, reducing time spent on paperwork and letting them spend more time fighting crime. These results enhance officers’ feelings of job satisfaction and making a difference in their communities.
In turn, enhancing morale throughout the department creates a trickle-down effect that aids in reducing officer burnout and improving employee retention. Meanwhile, officers who feel better about their working conditions and work lives are more likely to be in a better frame of mind to interact with the public. This improved attitude means fewer complaints from citizens and a more positive image for the department within the community.
AN END-TO-END CLOUD SOLUTION
CivicEye’s CivicRMS is an end-to-end cloud-based platform that integrates, organizes, stores, shares and makes accessible to authorized users all allowable aspects of a police department’s records management system.
Storing data on the cloud is what makes CivicRMS so useful to law enforcement, as the system can integrate with a jurisdiction’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, prosecutor and court data systems, and jail information system (JIS).
Using interactive, web-based dashboards that constantly refresh with real-time information, CivicRMS supports a full range of police investigatory and record-keeping functions. For instance, it can integrate CAD data to add incident scene maps into the files, including time-based data on who was where during the events.
The system can also let officers search all accessible police records using qualifiers such as person, contacts, identification, scars, tattoos and locations. As well, vehicles and their registration tags can be checked using master license and law enforcement activity databases – all while officers are on foot, in their cars or at the station.
A MODULAR APPROACH
To simplify the record-keeping process, CivicRMS is built as a series of interconnected modules covering multiple areas of police activity, all to instill efficiency and boost accuracy.
The CivicRMS training module is one effective administrative tool that keeps track of each officer’s educational requirements and fulfilments, making it easy for the department to report this data to state and federal officials.
In the same vein of efficiency and accuracy, the CivicRMS evidence module ensures that all collected information is properly stored with a solid chain of custody in place and with the ability to support appropriate authorized access by law enforcement and court officials.
Finally, the CivicRMS field interview module provides a step-by-step recording process to officers in the field for asking and answering all necessary questions to suspects and witnesses the first time they interview them. This kind of electronic record taking reduces an officer's reliance on manual note taking while ensuring that all recorded data is compliant with National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) standards.
Because the field questioning process acts as a checklist to ensure no detail is forgotten, it significantly reduces the need for follow-up interviews and allows evidence to be compiled sooner. In turn, this allows investigators to draw accurate conclusions faster and solve crimes quicker, concluding with reports that take less time to prepare.
THE BIG PICTURE
The use of cloud-based records management systems can make a real difference in a police department’s overall productivity. By storing and sharing records in the cloud, departments can raise their case-solving capabilities to the next level, harnessing the power of information technology and the web to do much more with the people and financial resources that they have.
Taking a big picture view of this situation, the improvements made possible to law enforcement through the cloud are as substantial and transformative as the replacement of horses with police cars, whistles with two-way radios, and voice-only one-way dispatch with multimedia two-way CAD. Moving to cloud-based RMS is a must for today’s agencies, and a platform like CivicEye’s CivicRMS is a fast, cost-effective and easy-to-learn way to do so.
Visit CivicEye for more information.
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