Comprehensive, detailed reports of calls for service are just as critical as the need for officers to respond quickly — while being as informed as possible about the circumstances of the calls they’re responding to. The right software solution can offer tremendous support to help improve law enforcement agencies’ efficiency and effectiveness in the field.
Like any resource, officers’ time is limited, and every moment an officer spends querying databases, typing longform reports, or jotting handwritten notes is a moment not used to serve an imminent need. In addition, all those disruptive, disjointed tasks can quickly add up and interfere with responsiveness to calls for service.
Just as important, time-consuming and tedious reporting processes are much more likely to be interrupted by that constant queue of calls for service. A stop-and-start approach, combined with the difficulty of organizing notes from multiple sources, can diminish report detail and quality, posing potential problems that can even affect admissibility of evidence in court.
Software suites for law enforcement, public safety, and security are designed to make reporting simpler, easier, and more efficient for officers. The right software features can also help ensure reports are properly and promptly completed, to maintain compliance and better support the needs of administration and courts.
But a software suite can do even more than improve reporting. A solution that puts fast and easy queries at an officer’s fingertips anywhere, anytime, can speed response and improve situational awareness, to help keep personnel and the public safer.
Support Complete and Accurate Reports from Everywhere Officers Work
A web-based platform that’s accessible from anywhere, whether an officer’s using a mobile data terminal (MDT), tablet, mobile phone, or office desktop, helps ensure access to the same database and reports from any device.
It should be easy to query the database for fast, on-demand information when and where it’s needed, with an intuitive, user-friendly interface.
It should also be easy to pick up any in-progress report right where the officer left off, rather than struggle with an assortment of notes in multiple formats until they get to a desktop.
Customized tagging and coding reports by service call type, citation, and more should be simple, and it should be just as easy for administrators to query and pull reports using tags and codes. After all, comprehensive data, in-depth analysis, and quality reporting can help departments:
- Identify trends
- Support budget requests
- Show individual and shared accountability
- Demonstrate value and build trust
Software for Field Use Demands Simplicity, Responsiveness, and Flexibility
Officers are entrusted to often handle complex and stressful calls for service, so the tech tools they use should help address complexity, not make tasks more complicated. User interfaces across devices should be simple and straightforward to minimize human error, and it should be easy to search contacts, vehicles, and previous records. These features help enable officers to arrive on the scene fully aware and prepared.
An integrated computer aided dispatch (CAD) module can add even greater value by enabling close, real-time collaboration between dispatch and officers, allowing them to share information including silent alerts, BOLOs/APBs, and more for more effective incident management.
The capability to quickly and intuitively upload and attach virtually any digital file to a report makes evidence management, collection, and handling more efficient, and an auto-generated chain of custody access log ensures integrity and protects the admissibility of evidence in court.
Dictating notes using a mobile app makes it faster and easier to include important details with immediacy, improving the accuracy and completeness of reporting from the field. Report sharing capabilities enable multiple officers and other stakeholders to complete their responsibilities. Sharing also allows for instant review, helping departments meet deadlines and prevent bottlenecks.
The capability to output reports as high-quality, professionally formatted, printable PDFs eliminates extra steps, easing administrative burdens and saving time and resources.
Improve Management Efficiency by Ensuring Compliance & Preparedness
Officer training requirements are continuous, and additional training and educational updates are added as tools, policies, protocols, and circumstances change. Ensuring that all officers are fully trained and certified, and in full compliance is not just a matter of administrative accountability; it can be a matter of public safety.
With a software solution that integrates officer training records management, it’s easy to see logs, pull reports, and set up automated reminders and alerts to both officers and their managers, to help ensure that officers are always fully trained, certified, and in compliance.
An equipment and asset tracking module can streamline department inventory management with features that include:
- Check in/check out accountability including administrators and officers
- Electronic signatures
- Equipment maintenance records and checklists
- Automatic scheduling of consumable material reorders
A Flexible Software Solution Can Improve Officer Effectiveness
A software solution’s reporting, querying, collaboration, and management capabilities can only be effective if it’s easy for users to get up and running quickly, so along with intuitive user interfaces, it’s imperative that a provider offers customer service and support to ensure optimal setup and thorough training for all users.
Look for a technical support team that responds, troubleshoots, and solves issues quickly and provides continuous improvements with timely updates.
Most importantly, before committing to any solution, be absolutely certain it has the capabilities and flexibility to meet all your stakeholders’ needs.
If you’re ready to explore and learn more about how a software solution can improve officers’ efficiency and effectiveness in the field, just click the link below to request a demo with an Omnigo expert.