The Police Chief - December 2011 - (Page 98)

T E C H N O L O G Y technology in the work place T A L K How Technology Contributes to Law Enforcement Efficiency and Effectiveness T By H. C. “Skip” Clark II, Chief, Peachtree City, Georgia, Police Department; and Lisa Blaney-Koen, IACP Consultant • • • • he Peachtree City, Georgia, Police Department (PCPD) is this year’s National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) Special Category winner in Technology. In addition, the agency placed third in the Municipal 46–75 Sworn Officers category. The PCPD deployed a variety of technologies to empower officers in the field, improve their productivity and effectiveness, and to support the department’s data-driven approach to decision making. As PCPD Chief H. C. “Skip” Clark II, a coauthor of this column, noted, “By effectively using available technology, we have been able to increase the amount of time that officers are out in the community.” The National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) recognizes agencies that have made a significant difference in the communities they serve. Focusing on three traffic safety priorities—occupant protection, impaired driving, and speeding—the NLEC program also addresses other areas of topical importance—such as technology—when appropriate to address relevant innovative traffic safety concerns. Agencies that participate in this program recognize the important role they play in reducing the number of deaths and injuries that result from traffic crashes each year. Visit the National Law Enforcement Challenge website at http:// LawEnforcementChallenge/tabid/345/ Default.aspx to learn more about the program and how your agency can participate. The PCPD now has the ability to track how effective officers are in the performance of their duties as well as the ability to better track crime and collision trends. This has enabled the agency to use Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) to address problems with a higher rate of success. Officers can maximize the amount of time they spend visible on the road by accomplishing all of the following remotely, without needing to come to the police department: 98 THE POLICE CHIEF/DECEMBER 2011 Online scheduling Online daily activity reports Electronic reports and reviews Traffic enforcement and directed assignment calendar input and review • Email • Policy and training information updates and sign-off • Online traffic complaint entry • Supervisor notes on employees, where employees can also submit notes about themselves and about other employees • Extra duty job sign-up and tracking In-Car Cameras. Another huge benefit has been having reliable digital video cameras in every vehicle. The PCPD’s present digital system allows individuals to upload videos automatically. Additionally, these files are organized automatically based on their type and the desired length of retention. This type of system never requires the officer to replace videotapes or wait for a hard drive to download. Attorneys routinely set up pretrial conferences and can see the actual event on video prior to trial, which has resulted in an increase in plea arrangements. Visual Message Board. In addition, a visual message board has been an essential tool for placing traffic safety messages in high-visibility locations where there is a need. An example of this is placing the message system in a frequent collision corridor where following-too-closely collisions have been a documented problem. In this case, the board would display a series of messages warning drivers of the frequent collision area and reminding them to follow at a safe distance. the police department and more time in patrol vehicles, which creates increased officer visibility. Speed Measurement Devices. Three selfcontained speed-monitoring devices play a role in informing the PCPD of traffic trends while also providing an educational platform to share safety information with the public. 1. A portable monitoring device records traffic volume and speed. It is used to validate residential speed complaints and to gather data for larger speed studies. 2. A trailer with a radar unit and light-emitting diode (LED) board displays the speed of passing cars. It is used strategically in areas with identified speed issues. 3. A speed-monitoring trailer with a variable message sign, which features a programmable LED board and built-in radar, is deployed in areas of high collision frequency, is programmed to display safety reminders. Enforcement and Protection Collision Trend Tracking. Violation and collision data are filtered by database-querying software and then exported into Microsoft Excel, where statistics are made into easy-to-read charts. Using this technology has minimized the time spent in epidemiological duties while providing more efficiently communicated information than that which is accomplished through pin-andcorkboard procedures. Insights for Other Agencies Education Web-based Training System and Wireless Access. An online training system allows for items needing officer attention—updated policies, general orders, and other information—to be uploaded and viewed from patrol laptops. The software tracks how long an officer takes to read an item and requires the use of an electronic signature to acknowledge the material has been understood. All PCPD vehicles are equipped with laptops with wireless Internet access, allowing officers to check police department emails and assignments, receive be-on-the-lookout notices, and communicate information from the previous shift. The result—officers spend less time at • Consider everything that would bring an officer into the police department, and then make all of these things wirelessly accessible from the patrol vehicle. The increased efficiency reduces time at the police department while increasing officer visibility. • Monitor the ever-expanding list of new technologies to increase productivity and effectiveness. Using technology at every point in the process can improve traffic safety. • Leverage existing resources. If you have not ventured into a data-driven system, do not be discouraged by hightech approaches. You can do it with commonplace software, such as Microsoft Excel.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Police Chief - December 2011

President’s Message: The Time for a National Commission Has Come
Legislative Alert: National Criminal Justice Commission Legislation Falls Short of Passage
IACP Foundation: Fueled Up to Fund the Foundation: Harley-Davidson Raffle Kicked Off at Conference
Chief’s Counsel: Postincident Video Review
From the Assistant Director: The U.S. Secret Service Partners with State, Local, and International Law Enforcement to Pursue the World’s Most Wanted Cybercriminals
Advances & Applications
Taking the Straw Man to the Ground: Arguments in Support of the Linear Use-of-Force Continuum
How Police Can Use Hospital Laws to Speed Processing in Hospital Emergency Departments
On Choosing the Right Operational Police Physician
Report of the 118th Annual IACP Conference: Chicago
Board of Officers
General Assemblies
IACP Business
Exhibit Hall
Special Events
Thank You, Chicago
Life Members
New Members
Exhibitor Update
Intelligence-Led Policing: The Future Is Now
“Just a Volunteer”: Supporting An Agency’s Volunteer Program through Difficult Times
Providing Effective Policing for Aboriginal Communities
The IACP and Alcatel-Lucent Present International and Domestic Police Officer of the Year Awards
2011 Author Index
2011 Subject Index
Technology Talk
Index to Advertisers
Highway Safety Initiatives

The Police Chief - December 2011