As the amount of data law enforcement agencies collect increases, so do the challenges they face when managing that data. OFFICER Magazine recently spoke to Adi Kavaler, Chief Technology Officer at CentralSquare Technologies, about the importance of data and records management.
What challenges exist in managing data and records?
Law enforcement agencies collect and manage personal data daily, so they are challenged with finding a balance to ensure they adhere to data privacy and security regulations, while also providing access to the data necessary to make informed decisions. With the sensitivity of this data, agencies must carefully consider access and information sharing policies. Only authorized personnel should have access to the specific data required for them to do their job and make quick, informed decisions as they respond to incidents and work to keep our communities safe.
How has the concept of data management evolved?As technology continues to improve, so does data management. We have the opportunity for connectivity and data sharing between law enforcement, jurisdictions, and even across state lines for a cooperative multi-agency response and investigation of incidents. We’ve also eliminated data silos, improved interagency cooperation with tools such as crime maps, searchable databases, and even officer tracking tools to better understand where resources are located.
What has been done to make the process easier?
We have prioritized creating a system for customers to enter their data and share it with agencies that need secure access. This process cuts down response times and streamlines communication. Our data management process simplifies workflows including 9-1-1, calls for service, records management, mobile field access and reporting.
How has RMS software progressed over time?
We have advanced our records management software to meet the needs of the everchanging digital landscape. The hub for public safety records management has evolved as it collects data, streamlines workflows, and permits real-time reporting. We have digitized many daily tasks of law enforcement and first responders’ duties that were previously done manually. Law enforcement officers can now utilize real-time reporting and web-based records from data in the records management system.
What are some current trends in data management?
We’re seeing an ongoing shift to cloud-based data management, which provides several advantages to traditional management. The cloud gives organizations of all sizes unprecedented flexibility while reducing operational costs, which is critical, especially for our state and local government customers. We’re also seeing that organizations are looking to connect their data management platforms together. With our CAD-to-CAD technology, we let one agency’s emergency response platform communicate with adjacent agencies. This is key in times of crisis, but it also improves emergency response in situations where neighboring county’s emergency responders are closer or more appropriate specialized assets for the incident in question.
What are some things law enforcement agencies hope to do when it comes to data management in the future?
Law enforcement agencies collect tremendous amounts of data but haven’t been able to utilize the information in a meaningful way that could possibly improve outcomes and create safer communities. This provides a welcome opportunity for change—as an officer responding to a call should have all the information that dispatch has—from prior records to information that the caller has provided. That all comes down to data management and leveraging the information agencies have in the best way possible.