How Data Accessibility in the Field Improves Community and Officer Safety
Law enforcement officers have one of the most dynamic and dangerous jobs in America. As first responders with a daily presence in the community,
officers must be prepared to respond quickly and appropriately to any situation they encounter.
Most law enforcement officers try to enter each scenario with increased awareness and caution, but it isn’t humanly possible—or healthy—to maintain high levels of stress and intensity at all times. Having context of the situations they’re entering enables officers to respond accordingly, and also improves their safety and availability.
How Does Access to Data Improve Safety?
For officers in the field, information means safety and efficiency. The more information an officer has about the situations they encounter, the more prepared
they’ll be to formulate a plan and react appropriately. But how can this information be obtained if they’re out in the field? For the highest level of insight, officers need direct and immediate access to a criminal justice database. The more data officers have access to in the field—and the quicker they can access it—the better equipped they are to respond to calls in the best and safest manner possible.
Imagine this: An officer pulls a driver over, exits their vehicle, and approaches the scenario based on the knowledge of what they’ve observed thus far. If the person was speeding and driving recklessly, the officer could infer there is a
possibility of impairment. However, without immediate access to data in the field, that is where their knowledge ends. While officers can call dispatch or connect to the radio to get more context, there is a more streamlined option for gathering important information.
What if an officer instantaneously had access to more detailed data points? Mobile law enforcement software enables officers to immediately connect to the NCIC,
as well as local and regional department databases. From their vehicle, officers have access to all the relevant information they will need to know in order to make a
scenario as safe and efficient as possible. If a report is filed, mobile law enforcement software will auto-populate the report, meaning the officer can pay more attention to the situation and spend less time in the office after an arrest.
While every officer aims to enter each scenario with the same sense of caution, it can be difficult—nearly impossible— to maintain the same level of urgency for each response. Having information on the person they are about to interact with helps officers prepare for situations that are historically more likely to occur than others.
Law enforcement officers have an important but stressful job of dealing with potentially dangerous situations each and every day. While their main objective is to protect the community, they must protect themselves as well. Mobile law enforcement software that provides officers with access to details about the scenarios they’re entering often makes the difference between routine calls and
Officers need to know the nature of the call, whether it is in progress, who the suspects are, and any other potential dangers. Historically, officers have had to call into the department to find this information out. Having the ability to check a data source from their squad car saves time, prevents miscommunication, and provides officers with further details. Adding context to the nature of the scene allows an officer to properly protect themselves while dealing with the nature of the call and protecting the community.
House calls especially are filled with possible unknowns for an officer: How many people will be in the household? Will there be an aggressive dog? Does the suspect have communicable diseases? Will I need to keep a wide berth? Is there risk of needles? Do they have a record of arrests or aggression? What is this person’s history with law enforcement?
While an oracle that provides full insight into a scenario doesn’t exist, there are tools that allow officers to gain quicker access to this information. Resources that provide
mobile access to this information not only offer clarity but also enable officers to respond more quickly and effectively.
Access to accurate and useful data enables law enforcement officers to not only better serve their communities, but also work more efficiently. The traditional process of arresting a suspect and returning to the department to book them
and complete an incident report often takes officers out of the field for hours at a time. While booking and reporting are integral to the criminal justice process, police presence alone in the community is a major deterrent to crime.
Tools that allow required paperwork to be completed in the field enable officers to create and maintain that presence. Rather than returning to the office each time paperwork needs to be completed, an officer can park at a busy intersection while writing their report. Their presence in the community may discourage someone from running a red light—or, if a call comes through, the officer’s response time will be significantly reduced.
Streamlining the report writing process also frees up time for officers to engage with members of the community. Neighborhood check-ins and other positive interactions remind residents officers are working to keep them—and their community—safe.
Improving data accessibility also saves departmental and taxpayer dollars. Reducing trips between the field and the office lowers fuel and vehicle maintenance expenses. Officer presence in the field deters crime, and lower crime rates reduce insurance costs for the department, freeing up money to address other community needs.
The Bottom Line
Data accessibility in the field improves the safety of officers as well as the safety of the communities they protect. Empower your officers with additional defenses. Mobile law enforcement software provide officers with more immediate access to data and enables them to complete reports from their squad cars.
Being able to access and exchange data from the field can save officers time, save the department money, and help both maintain a stronger presence in the community.
For more than 20 years, Omnigo software solutions have been the preferred choice for law enforcement, education, healthcare, gaming, hospitality, and corporate enterprises. Currently, Omnigo’s solutions are used by over 2,000 customers in 20 different countries. At Omnigo, we’re committed to helping customers secure their organizations’ property, control operational costs, and ensure the safety of the general public.
We believe our customers deserve the best support available to protect their people, assets, and brand. We also understand how challenging it can be to protect the community without the proper resources. We’re here to arm users with the best tools in the industry. With a team that includes former law enforcement, first responders, and other public safety professionals, we’re uniquely qualified to understand exactly what our customers need to protect their community.
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