PETERSBURG, Alaska – Sept. 1, 2016 - Petersburg Borough Police Department went live with Spillman Technologies’ flagship system, Flex, on July 19. The agency will utilize Flex’s comprehensive Records Management (RMS), Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), Jail Management (JMS), and mobile capabilities to streamline its data entry and case management processes. Petersburg PD will host the Spillman system and share it with the borough’s fire department. The two Petersburg public safety agencies will join four other Alaska agencies using Spillman software.
Petersburg PD signed with Spillman in September 2015. Police Chief Kelly Swihart said that, with its integrated database and vast array of connected modules, Spillman Flex will provide a convenient and efficient way for public safety officials to access needed information in one spot, instead of having information across multiple platforms.
“It’s a fairly comprehensive system, so I think it’s a one-stop shop for us to maintain all of our files and records,” Swihart said.
The police department was previously using a FileMaker Pro-based program to track all their records, but it was not robust enough to fit the agency’s needs and created inconsistencies when personnel entered data, Swihart said. Petersburg PD needed a system that could clean up their data by streamlining the data entry process, as well as provide safety nets to ensure all important information is included in each case.
“I wanted some safeguards in place to make sure that we were standardizing the way we captured information and to make the information easily accessible when we needed it in the future,” he said. “I also wanted to update our case management practices to make sure we know what happens with a case from start to finish.”
Using Flex’s intuitive workflow processes, agency personnel will be able to create new records knowing that all pertinent information is being captured from the very beginning. Agency administrators can determine which fields will be required when filling out a record, helping to create a habit of complete and consistent record keeping.
Although the police department has been able to share information with nearby agencies through a central dispatch center in the past, the new Flex system will create a more efficient way for all parties to access critical data.
“Before, there was always direct communication back and forth from their guys, whether out in the field or in the office, to dispatch to pull that information out,” Swihart said. “Spillman will let the fire, EMS, and Search and Rescue folks have immediate access to the information they need.”
Swihart said the software’s integration will also help personnel accurately track individuals all the way to their state-contracted community jail.
“It’s nice to be able to track our jail requirements in the software and have that information be linked through the Hub back to the other modules,” he said. “We can mine some useful data there.”
The Petersburg agencies will also use other Flex modules, like Evidence Management, to track information on evidence from start to finish. Spillman also has established interfaces with the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN), allowing agency personnel to access and query the state database directly from the Spillman system.
In addition to reducing redundant data and streamlining the data entry process, the agency also chose Spillman as a software vendor because of the great customer service, Swihart said.
“They sent some folks up to do demos that the other companies didn’t do,” he said. “The customer service was just outstanding and customer service holds a lot of weight with me.”
Swihart said he wanted community members to know that the police and fire departments would be able to better serve the public with the Spillman software in place.
“It’s going to allow us to do our jobs more efficiently and there are safeguards in place so that every case is addressed completely and thoroughly so that nothing falls through the cracks,” he said.
Spillman Technologies serves police departments, sheriff’s offices, communication centers, correctional facilities, fire departments, and security organizations nationwide. Spillman specializes in integrated on-premises and cloud based software solutions, including Computer-Aided Dispatch, Records Management Systems, Mobile Data & Field Reporting,Mapping & GIS, Jail Management Systems, Fire, Data Sharing, Personnel & Resources, and Analytics & Intelligence-Led Policing. For more information about Spillman, visit www.spillman.com.