Increase Community Safety by Simplifying Report Writing for Officers
There’s no question that reports are crucial to the criminal justice process. They provide clarity and ensure integrity. But report writing takes far too much time, and officers should be out in the field and part of the community instead of sitting in an office working on administrative tasks.
When the priority is community safety, officers can’t afford to participate in drawn-out, inefficient reporting processes. Without integrated data systems, that’s exactly what can happen -- information will have to be entered repeatedly, duplicating efforts and wasting time.
But the community needs officer presence in the field. So how do you meet the requirements of the criminal justice process and keep officers where they belong— in the field. Simplify report writing the right way.
How Do Reports Benefit Community Safety?
Reporting leads to data creation, and data provides insight into trends, which can inform your officers how to better serve and protect their communities. For example, when opioid arrests or response calls occur, officers record the details into reports that generate data. Insight gained from that data can later be used to devise strategies or justify budget allocations for efforts addressing that specific concern.
But officers often end up spending too much of their time on administrative tasks to take a step back, identify trends, and enact to enact change. Often, a 30-minute pursuit from the day before evolves into administrative follow-up for the next two days. Data may be necessary, but historically, it hasn’t been easy to collect.
Why Simplified Report Writing Matters
When officers have greater capacity in their work weeks, they can invest time in the community in a number of ways. Community outreach, transparency, and presence are especially important in today’s climate. Officer visibility serves as a reminder to residents that the force is there to protect them and bring value to the community.
Officer presence helps reduce crime rate and increase the safety of the community in multiple ways. By providing visibility into the force and their activities, it decreases the divide that often causes tension and hostility between law enforcement and community members.
To accomplish a greater presence, officers must be able to get out of the office more.
How to Simplify Report Writing
There are a number of steps you can take to simply report writing, but the most beneficial -- stop duplicating your efforts.
The process of writing and filing reports has evolved over time; however, there are still departments working with outdated systems that create inefficiencies.
The traditional reporting process is inherently strenuous. As the complexity of the incident evolves and the number of people involved increases, the reporting and administrative tasks take longer to complete. The initial report must include the incident location, time, criminal charges, and suspect identifiers. The jailing process involves entry of similar necessary information. The narrative portion of the report contains similar details but requires they be expanded upon. Entering the same information into multiple reports and systems is redundant and inefficient. Yet, without a centralized system to enter and store this information, there is no way to mitigate this duplication of data entry and effort.
Creating a data flow is critical. Having the ability to easily transfer known information between processes—responding to a call, filing a report, and booking someone into the jailing system—nearly eliminates data friction and duplication of effort. Streamlining this workflow also greatly reduces the amount of time spent writing and filing reports.
Implementing a fully integrated solution that allows secure, accurate data transfer offers officers greater flexibility with their time. Likewise, the ability to complete reports from a mobile location minimizes time spent driving back and forth, reducing gas and vehicle maintenance expenses across the department’s fleet.
It is important, however, that reports remain secure and private, as well as backed up and ready to be retrieved at a moment’s notice. Outdated reporting methods are inefficient. They’re not centralized, categorized, or searchable. Paper and pen reporting lives in file cabinets, instead of within a database available to those who need to access information quickly.
Dispatchers, for example, are not always able to search during a call to check the history of a suspect who is the focus of a call. The more centralized, searchable, and accessible information is, the quicker response times are and the more prepared officers will be to respond.
Law enforcement professionals deal with dangerous situations daily, and their time is in high demand. In order for officers to do their job effectively, they need ready access to accurate and historical data in departmental and criminal justice databases. Friction due to unavailable data must be better managed in order to promote community safety.
Guaranteeing immediate, secure access to information requires both data centralization and mobile capability. To simplify reports in a way that truly benefits the community and your officers, consider a fully integrated solution that offers data security, searchability, and mobile access.
Simplify to Improve Safety
Law enforcement professionals work to make their communities safer every day, and they deserve tools that allow them to maximize their time and efforts. Simplifying report writing frees up time for officers, enabling them to spend more time patrolling or interacting with residents of the community. Whether completing reports from the side of a busy road to monitor traffic or spearheading a community outreach program, your officers can make a greater impact on the public when they have more time to spend in the field, protecting and serving.
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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