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A 2014 study looking at the costs of policing in Canada cited an alarming statistic: policing expenditures increased by 42 per cent between 2002 and 2012.

Perhaps former Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said it best at the Economics of Policing Summit in January 2013 when he said, “Police services face two options — they can do nothing and eventually be forced to cut drastically, as we have seen in some countries; or they can be proactive, get ahead of the curve, and have greater flexibility in designing and implementing both incremental and meaningful structural reforms.”

So how do police leaders look for greater efficiency while grappling with reduced budgets?

Operational practices

One area is increasing operational effectiveness, the study’s authors Rick Ruddell and Nicholas Jones of the University of Regina found.

Citing a study from the United Kingdom, the authors showed improving technology was key when faced with austerity measures. This included updating and collaborating on information technology products, handheld and vehicle based mobile devices and body worn cameras.


The idea of cloud computing to maintain data is a viable one when looking at increasing operational efficiency.

In fact, Fortune.com reports a number of law enforcement agencies including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Oakland Police Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina are storing law enforcement information in the cloud.

Big data

Kalyn Sims of Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure says ‘big data’ is a buzz word today, but “it’s very real” to law enforcement agencies that need to manage a large amount of data stemming from incident response, traffic stops, field interviews, casework, investigations, and crime analysis. In addition, there is multimedia data to consider such as mug shots, images, videos or document workflows.

“The job of police staff has become easier because we’ve put the tools in their hands in the field. So now they can use their mobile devices to query the records management system and get very time-critical information out in the field," says the chief technology officer.

Public safety organizations in the U.S. have been using inPursuit WebRMS for several years, says Sims, and the application is now available for law enforcement agencies, worldwide. In Canada, it is available in both English and French.

Jamie Algatt, product manager of RMS, Reporting and Analytics, says today’s secure browser or web-based RMS systems can be deployed in a couple of ways. First, as an on-premise application, inherent to an agency's secured network, thereby giving SSL-secured connectivity or, deployed to a cloud environment.

Besides providing time-sensitive information in the field, such RMS systems ultimately improve efficiency. Police staff are pro-actively notified as information is collected or changes throughout the course of an investigation.

For example, entering data consisting of a simple term, nickname, or dollar amount in a report can be captured at the street level, alerting specialized units such as major crime or organized crime units.

“The result is they can take immediate action and actually improve the efficiency of the agency in solving crime,” says Algatt.

Economic forces influencing the future of policing require police leaders to search for greater efficiencies in operational effectiveness. Achieving operational excellence, combined with a lower long-term cost of ownership, can include the adoption of a web-based, cloud-deployable RMS.

Webinar April 19

Learn how inPURSUIT WebRMS can support your agency in a FREE webinar on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 1:30pm EST.
Register for the webinar at http://go.hexagonsi.com/webRMS-webinar.

Learn more about Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure at http://www.hexagonsafetyinfrastructure.com such as inPURSUIT WebRMS and other mission-critical and business-critical solutions for public safety organizations.