This RMS is made for cops, by a cop
Recognizing that many records management systems fall short, one veteran officer decided to make a system designed for the ways cops work, and what law enforcement agencies need
Sponsored by Agisent Technologies
By Andrea Fox for Police1 BrandFocus
While computers have been critical in addressing crime for decades, police use of records management systems has varied widely. Older systems are not always easy to use, and training is often a challenge to accomplish with daily agency demands.
David Lutfy, president of Agisent, who served as a police officer for more than 25 years in South Carolina, was one cop with an affinity for computers. But core elements for law enforcement always seemed to be missing from the software, he says.
Over the last five years, David has worked to build an RMS designed to work the way cops work. His approach:
- How can you get the most out of your software to help you solve crimes?
- How do you get the most out of your software to identify trends and prevent crimes?
- How do you get the most out of your software that could potentially save lives?
THE LEAP FROM ANTIQUATED TO CLOUD-BASED
Like many police agencies, the LaFollette Police Department in Campbell County, Tennessee, has less than 25 officers. Previously, its 23 officers were only able to access their antiquated RMS at the station.
This year, the department leaped forward, adding laptops to its squad cars at the same time as implementing Platform RMS and an integrating CAD system by GeoConex, an Agisent partner.
“We found that not only did they provide the tools that we need to do our job, but also they provided those tools in a very cost-effective manner to where we can purchase it with no hesitation concerning cost,” said Chief William Roehl.
Platform RMS has a comprehensive list of modules accessible from the user interface, everything from the call for service, to field interviews, citations, evidence, use of force and many more. It’s a complete system engineered to track every aspect of law enforcement a community requires.
“Our officers understand that we needed to move into this century. We were still in the past century and doing things off of paper documents and things such as that,” said Roehl. “They saw the need to be more technologically advanced, and they accepted the change very well.”
Easy-to-follow navigation in Platform RMS guides officers through their reporting, and when they add a new person, vehicle, location or other information, the system creates a master record that generates a unique ID. This avoids having multiple records for the same person or location.
“When you go to look up this information, you would like to have all of the events associated with that address in one spot. You don’t want to look at five different records,” said Lutfy. “That’s annoying.”
Platform RMS can integrate any paper or electronic form. Because the system is cross-linked and operated within a single interface, the data auto-populates to all the relevant records and modules for easier searching, greater situational insight and faster data entry.
“As we move from one report in Agisent to a different report, anything that we put into the initial incident report that needs to be added into a warrant will self-populate,” said Roehl. “All the reports are like that. It's very beneficial to us.”
A CHAIN OF CUSTODY FOR DATA
Platform RMS tracks all data as it is created, modified and accessed, and it provides a full audit trail that can be used to demonstrate how any piece of data came to be or can recreate any data element.
When entering information, officers just need to press “Validate” to review missing information in their incident records, such as data needed for state and NIBRS requirements, before submitting their completed reports to supervisors. Once reports are submitted to supervisors, they are locked.
Administrators can approve reports and reopen reports for updating. Reopened reports go back to the officer and through the approval process again – with every update documented in the system.
“Once the reports themselves are generated into the Agisent system, the information is gathered and sent to TIBRS without us having to do it by hand,” said Roehl.
The department used to have a person who would sit and enter TIBRS information, he added, but that review is now managed through a workflow in Platform RMS.
Providing officers with a tool where they can securely complete their reporting in one place, on any device, and it’s cross-linked and tracked throughout the system improves agency performance and can make police officers more successful in their work. For Lutfy, Platform RMS provides full accountability and can help change crime metrics in any community.