Times are changing for police departments and sheriff’s offices, both in big metropolitan counties and the departments in quieter parts of the country. The old way of handling arrest records, police reports, and other vital documents is changing. Paper has gone the way of the dinosaur, and digital records management systems have been adopted by a number of institutions both across the United States and abroad. If you are considering updating your analog system for filing and accessing documents at the sheriff’s station, or if you are looking into replacing an existing software, the benefits of a modern system may surprise you.
Reporting in the field
Information governance starts on patrol. When officers are in the field answering calls or patrolling the county, reports are initiated. Even if paperwork is completed back in the station, mobility and access to documents and document creation are vital. Modern content management software for police departments is designed with this in mind.
Different departments have different budgets. Whether yours can afford tough books or iPads or just a deal on the most affordable laptops, officers in the field should be able to submit reports. Modern records management needs to make documents accessible and have options available for creating documents on the fly. Officers should be supplied with all the data they need to assess situations on the go and make the right call. With browser-based web apps, mobile apps, or desktop implementation options, a software like Contentverse is equipped to assist easily and accurately.
Public access to public documents
An improved system for records management does not just benefit staff and personnel. The average citizen needs to be able to get a hold of documentation regularly. Even if you don’t use a front-facing system and citizens have to fill out a request form, some sort of access point is necessary, and the backend behind that has to be reliable.
Studies too rely on easily searchable and accessible documentation. Protecting the county intelligently involves gathering numbers and finding weak points in the department’s patrolling, responding, and arrest practices. In order to piece together and understand crime statistics, the relevant data needs to be available without hassle. A modern sheriff’s office records management solution is the obvious answer.
How can this help the taxpayer?
A streamlined, well-managed system will increase productivity and efficiency at the office. Staff who conduct clerical work or organize files will find their time spent searching for missing documents reduced. Conducting lookups for officers in the field will become easier or even obsolete as everyone gains familiarity with the system.
Choosing an appropriate records management system for your county can save time and money, freeing up the budget for other initiatives. Part time personnel can be better utilized in other departments. Your county can hire more officers to cover a greater net and answer calls more easily. A more efficient document management system can even allow for other assisting software to be purchased. Some of these benefits can be passed onto the taxpayer in the form of savings. A leaner sheriff’s department or police department means less taxes and healthier government spending.
If you’re still using paper documents and old filing cabinets, or if you are using a digital solution that doesn’t meet your needs, you need to upgrade to something more modern and more efficient. Scanning in all that data will save thousands of hours of clerical work in the long run. Upgrading your management system sooner than later is easier than you think. Contentverse has been used by local governments for years and continues to find a place in offices that need a fast, secure, accessible solution for saving and organizing their important documents.
This article was originally published as Sheriff’s Office Records Management on July 12, 2018.