RMS Police Software: Navigating the Current Technology Landscape
Law enforcement agencies are constantly balancing tight budgets and short staffing. It can be both challenging and frustrating for agencies as they strive to do more for their communities, often while simultaneously operating with fewer officers and funding.
In 2023, as technology grows, what exactly should law enforcement agencies look for in RMS for police? What are the possibilities of current RMS police technology? And how can this technology support agencies in their daily work?
In this blog, we’ll briefly explore the evolution of existing RMS software for police, before considering the possibilities of new technology solutions. Additionally, we’ll examine how this emerging technology can support agencies with streamlined reporting and data.
The Existing Range of Legacy Law Enforcement Technology
Some agencies in the U.S. are still operating on pen-and-paper methods—this means the agency doesn’t have access to a digital RMS whatsoever. In these cases, agencies are forced to rely on intricate (read: tedious) physical filing systems, while also physically transporting all evidence and necessary files back and forth from district attorney offices. These processes are time-consuming and inefficient, at best.
While many agencies do have an RMS of some sort, many of these are legacy systems that have been around for decades. These systems, while innovative at one time, are now significantly outdated and, also, are slow and unreliable. However, many agencies are still hesitant to explore other alternatives because of budget issues.
In contrast to these legacy software models, emerging RMS for police technologies are embracing cloud-based systems, which allow agencies to access their RMS anytime, anywhere. Additionally, cloud-based RMS solutions provide agencies with the potential for scalability and adaptability as they grow. Plus, this isn’t even to mention the possibility of integrating cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence tools and other imminent tech tools.
The Contemporary Challenges Confronting Law Enforcement Agencies
As mentioned earlier, law enforcement agencies today are facing a variety of pressing issues. Largely, many agencies are struggling because of major staffing shortages and low retention rates.
When an agency is facing staffing concerns, it’s difficult for officers to have ample time to write quality reports, considering how time-consuming this process often is. In fact, in a recent study, some officers average that they spend 3-4 hours per shift on paperwork. This administrative burden prevents officers from spending more time patrolling and out in their communities.
Considering the high volume of reporting that officers complete when relying on pen-and-paper methods or outdated legacy systems, it’s easy for officers to generate reports that are fragmented or incomplete. This, ultimately, impacts an agency’s overall data and makes it challenging to maintain data cleanliness.
Additionally, many officers don’t have a way to effectively communicate learnings between shifts, unless this is communicated verbally. Many legacy systems don’t provide officers with a way to view notes from previous shifts, which prevents officers from gathering intel that can help them better protect themselves and their community. Communication gaps, like this, also make collaboration across the agency at large challenging.
And when it comes to sharing data with neighboring agencies, things aren’t typically much better. With legacy RMS for police, many agencies don’t have the ability to share crime data with surrounding jurisdictions. This collaborative hurdle, again, can prevent officers across county and city lines from receiving critical information, such as when building crime nexuses. These data silos are detrimental to agencies and can impede interagency collaboration, investigations, and more.
Unveiling Records Management Systems (RMS): An Integral Tool in Modern Policing
For many agencies, these challenges have become a “normal part” of their everyday workflows, but they don’t necessarily have to be.
With emerging web-based RMS police software, law enforcement agencies can streamline reporting, leverage improved data analytic tools, generate NIBRS-compliant data, and more.
Instead of spending time combing through thousands of files, features like advanced search technology can allow users to narrow down materials with extensive filters, allowing officers to locate critical information in seconds.
Single-entry data input, another prominent feature, prevents officers from having to re-enter the same information across multiple fields and forms, saving time and preventing user error.
Features such as these in an RMS police reporting system can help overburdened agencies maximize their operations, while also improving the user experience for officers, with intuitive workflows, fast operating speeds, and more. Plus, cloud-based networks can offer heightened security, alongside the ability to access the system anytime, anywhere.
The Landscape of RMS in 2023
There are numerous factors that will determine what specific RMS functionalities an agency will require. Some of these factors, for example, include aspects like agency size and geographic location.
But, these differences considered, all agencies require a strong RMS software technology foundation that will allow the agency to embrace new industry trends as they arise. Specific qualities such as secure API technology and scalability are necessary for any agency that wants to prevent being stuck with a platform that quickly becomes obsolete.
To learn more about how to navigate purchasing an RMS system and developing a list of minimum requirements, check out CivicEye’s free RMS Purchasing Guide here.
The Advantages of Innovative RMS Police Software
Among the other possibilities described above, here are some tangible examples of how agencies can benefit from the latest records management technology:
Efficient Case Management and Evidence Tracking
With advanced RMS, officers can manage reports, cases, personnel, evidence, and more, in a singular, centralized database. This makes access to necessary information intuitive and simple.
Real-time data for informed decision-making
While in the field, officers can leverage the latest, real-time data to inform strategies, tactics, and community responses. This can keep officers, and communities, safer.
Customizable workflows for agency requirements
New RMS police software can enable agencies to configure functionalities such as report fields, personnel-specific security levels, and more, to fit their agency in particular. Every agency is unique, and an RMS user interface should reflect that, too.
Enhanced crime pattern recognition and resource allocation
With real-time data and consolidated master indexes of persons, locations, and evidence, officers and investigators can better determine crime trends and strategically allocate resources accordingly.
A Glimpse into the Practicality: A Case Study of RMS Implementation
Among all of the steps in selecting a new RMS police software, implementation is perhaps the most daunting. With new software comes the necessity of training, user adoption, and data conversion. This being said, it’s essential to choose a provider that’s a master of all three.
In this case study, White County, TN, the Sheriff’s Office and neighboring Sparta Police Department journey through the implementation of a new records management system, with the goal of increasing data-sharing across jurisdictions. After successful implementation, the agencies have leveraged their RMS to improve operations, increase communication, and maximize efficiency.
The key to their success with the new product? Access to quality 24/7/365 Tech Support, plus in-depth training sessions and reference tools. With these resources, agencies, like White County Sheriff’s and Sparta PD, were able to select and onboard a new records management system, assured that the product would be able to grow and adapt with their agencies.
Law enforcement officials already have enough challenges in their day-to-day jobs. With emerging technology, officers can leverage tools to make their jobs easier and more efficient. RMS police software can help officers save time on tedious tasks like reports, while also giving them instant access to real-time updates and critical updates. In this way, technology helps keep officers informed, allowing them to focus on serving and protecting their communities, first and foremost.
To learn more about the latest RMS technology and how CivicEye’s public safety platform can serve your agency, click below.
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