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Category: Justice Systems

“People don’t typically associate Arkansas with the cutting edge,” explains Daron Frederick, Network Administrator for the Arkansas Supreme Court. “That’s why it’s such a pleasure to have the U.S. Supreme Court looking to us for ideas about the unique and innovative ways we are implementing technology.”


With its motto, “One Team, One Mission,” it’s clear that unity is important to the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD). However, without consistent access to the PD’s law enforcement records and administrative files, officers and employees had a difficult time staying on the same page.

When Lindsay Lohan violated her probation by drinking the night of the MTV Movie Awards this month, it was the technology authorities used to catch her that really made headlines: an ankle monitor that detects alcohol on the wearer’s skin. Former Criminal District Court Judge Vickers Cunningham Sr. knows all too well how effective this technology, known as SCRAMx (“Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring”) can be. “Before we had this tool, I was putting 80% of people on probation for alcohol-related offenses back in prison,” Cunningham says. “Now, 83% percent of the people using the bracelets are alcohol-free—which means our justice system can focus its resources on the remaining 17%.”

In most industries, being unable to access the right information can be costly and inefficient. But in law enforcement, it can be inconvenient—even deadly.

“Officers respond to calls uninformed of safety precautions,” says Elk River, MN Police Chief Jeffrey Beahen bluntly. “They’re on the scene without knowing if the suspect has any violent history, if they own any guns – nothing.” Once back at the station, he says, the real work began – only it wasn’t exactly police work.

“We have a fiduciary responsibility to get value from tax dollars,” says Captain Blakely of the Riverside, California Police Department. For the past decade, Riverside has increasingly turned to information management technology, emerging as a model of public efficiency, especially these days.

As Roz Vinson, Police Records and Information Manager puts it, “I’m short 10 bodies – that’s where we are right now. Where can I work smarter? If we only have to touch something once, that’s progress.” (more…)

Time was, when an officer from Ontario’s Hamilton Police Service (HPS) responded to investigate a call about an EDP (emotionally disturbed person), they’d have two choices to determine risk factors as they proceeded: either drive back to the station with the EDP to look up past reports – or place a call and wait for a Records Clerk to pull the report and read it to them over the phone. Either way, the officer would be off the street, sometimes for hours, waiting for the necessary information to act on.

These days, however, an officer responding to the same call can pull up reports right in their patrol car, accessing information vital to the safety of the EDP – and the public – using just a name, incident number or other simple keyword.

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