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Info-sharing software securely puts everything cops need in one place

Looking to solve the information gap? Here’s how Adventos’ police-centric workforce and information sharing software tool helps police departments work smarter

The following is paid content sponsored by Adventos

By Dan O’Shea for Police1 BrandFocus

The speed at which officers are informed of the details of an incident can mean the difference between life and death. So when it comes to workflow management and information sharing, police agencies need all the help they can get.

Photo courtesy of Adventos
Photo courtesy of Adventos

Yet off-the-shelf commercial workflow and information-sharing software solutions rarely meet the needs of police as they lack the security, flexibility, and accountability required by each agency whose needs vary by region and state.

Adventos fills this void with SmartForce, a product so unique a new software category – Agency Management System - had to be created.

An Agency Management System is a suite of applications designed specifically for law enforcement to better manage the crime reduction strategies and community-policing efforts during uncommitted patrol time—as well as to automate administrative processes unique to law enforcement, so more uncommitted time can be created.

Adapting off-the-shelf software for police needs

Most off-the-shelf software solutions are designed for private sector and general corporate customers versus the unique set of police agencies’ demands when it comes to mobility, format, and user-friendliness.

To solve this problem, Adventos built a custom solution for law enforcement agencies that doesn't require a new hardware investment; that can account for uncommitted time; drive current crime reduction strategies; improve community-police relationships; and drive efficiencies through automated processes seamlessly across departments—by literally putting everyone on the same page, said Adventos’ Vice President of Marketing Brian McGrew.

Hosted on the CJIS-compliant government cloud, SmartForce facilitates secure crime intelligence collaboration and automates police departments’ workflows. McGrew said crime intelligence sharing and automated workflows are accessed from a single web-based interface that looks like a homepage with customized tabs. 

These custom configured tabs come with the requisite security and permissions for criminal investigations, targeted intelligence sharing, and completing administrative tasks. The SmartForce Agency Management System homepage and tabs can be accessed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device.

Information fields and crime intelligence sharing keep all officers informed and safer

Key informational alerts such as emergencies, safety, operations, Amber, and Silver are prominently displayed on the home page. Agency announcements are posted here, too.

Below key alerts, critical events, information, or assignments are displayed from either shift briefings or roll-call pass-on.

In regard to intelligence sharing for targeted crime reduction, SmartForce collects and organizes all of the information police departments need, including targeted analysis and live discussion threads on different cases all within a single environment.

This information-sharing strategy is part of a Stratified Policing concept developed 12-years ago and advocated by Dr. Rachel Santos, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University, and Port St. Lucie, Fla. Police Lt. Roberto Santos, Ph.D.

The strategy is a research-driven organizational approach for implementing different crime reduction strategies involving group problem solving, data analysis, accountability and effective communications and transparency.

"It's really a model for helping organizations change and improve how they do evidence-based policing," Rachel Santos said. "Communication and transparency are important parts of the model, and that's where SmartForce can help because it allows you to see in real time what other officers are doing."

Santos explained that the system's capability for real-time discussion threads is also important because it allows police to move away from the time gaps and other shortcomings inherent to e-mail exchanges.

"We have always advised police departments not to use e-mail as a primary way to communicate," she said. "You should be active, not passive, and e-mail is passive."

In many agencies, intelligence sharing and other police activities are being conducted on slow, antiquated, and non-secure platforms such as e-mail, McGrew added.

“We can change all this by offering a CJIS-compliant platform and efficient suite of intelligence sharing and administrative applications,” he said.

Adding workflow tabs for improved administrative efficiency

SmartForce has tabs on the homepage for a myriad of automated workflows, including Policy Acknowledgement, Field Training, Talent Management, Community Requests, Court Calendar, and Extra Duty Scheduling.

A key workflow tab for police departments is Compliance Management. This tab puts administrative policy acknowledgement online, tracks acknowledgement, tests, and organizes policies for documentation and accreditation.

“Commanding officers can manage the requirements for officers to acknowledge and comply to new or revised policies via electronic signature, so their compliance can be easily tracked,” McGrew added.

Other important workflow tabs can be utilized when configuring a particular agency’s homepage for police administration, he said.

This includes the SmartForce High Liability Management applications like its industry leading Response to Resistance Reporting module, Complaints & Commendations, and Vehicle Pursuits.

In addition, to these automated workflows, SmartForce includes an All Applications Library for agencies to integrate URL links to other commonly used programs, systems, or business applications the agency has previously purchased.

A user wanting to access their Police1 Academy program for example, could simply click on the All Applications link and then click on the Police1 Academy icon to quickly launch them into their training program. 

Sharing information and improving community relations

The cloud-based SmartForce solution also allows community groups and local businesses to share content like blueprints, surveillance video, and crime preventions strategies as well as support real-time discussions or posting of questions and answers between key organizations, task forces, and law enforcement officers.

Agencies could even create a secure District Attorney’s page to share case information and video evidence instead of having to spend time making copies or burning DVDs that must be driven to the district attorney’s office.

“This kind of collaboration is accomplished through CJIS-compliant and secure site pages that allow these key partners to share and see information that is titled for them and pertinent to only them,” McGrew said. “They are unable to view your other law enforcement data, sites, or applications on SmartForce.”

Business owners, schools, HOAs, churches and other community organizations report immediate and improved feelings of security and connection to agencies collaborating with them through SmartForce, McGrew added.

Adventos’ SmartForce Agency Management System is a police-centric solution that truly puts officers on the same page when it comes to information sharing, whether that is posting crime investigation information, communicating administrative policy, or connecting to the communities they serve. Are you ready to bring your police communications into the 21st Century?

For more information on the SmartForce solution, contact Adventos

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