3 ways to keep your Law Enforcement agency technology up-to-date
The history of crime mapping, body-worn cameras, police drones and other Law Enforcement technology parallels the history of civilian technology; it began a few decades ago, took off rapidly and hasn’t stopped since. It can be daunting to stay on top of current trends and weed out what technology is here to stay and worth investing in. Here are 3 ways to keep your Law Enforcement Agency technology current.
1. Question its purpose.
Yes, the technology might be extremely cool and you’ve never seen anything like it before, but does it solve an actual, current need that your department is experiencing? Take a look at the history of e-Ticketing, for instance. Police agencies began recognizing that handwritten tickets were draining resources. From the time it was taking to manually write a citation to the amount of revenue being lost due to handwritten errors to the additional time officers were spending in harm’s way on the roadside, something had to change. e-Ticketing has a true and highy-valuable purpose, making the investment a worthwhile one.
2. Talk to your colleagues.
Ask around to other departments. What technology have they invested in? What’s working and what’s not working? It is all too common for a department to invest thousands in the latest technology, only to realize months or years down the road that the technology isn’t practical and is sitting somewhere in a storage closet. We’ve heard from several agencies that have purchased expensive laser scanners, yet continue to take hand measurements at the majority of crime or crash scenes. These scanners take too much training and can be too cumbersome to bring to every scene. A different solution, such as OSCR360, may have been better suited for these department’s specific needs. By talking with other agencies, you can hear some first-hand testimonials about what’s working well – and what isn’t.
3. Do your homework.
This step is about much more than researching the product and talking to your colleagues. What about the company behind the product? Will they train you? Will they provide support throughout the product’s life cycle? Will they stand by their product? Unfortunately, some companies are driven merely by sales. After you’ve paid and signed along the dotted line, they’re gone. Be sure the company you partner with is going to be there for the long haul and have other customers to vouch for their worthiness. Read some tips for choosing the best eCitation technology partner, here.
Don’t get me wrong; new technology can be great. Game-changing, even. But if you don’t want to be left disappointed, consider the 3 ways to keep your Law Enforcement agency technology current, and avoid regrets down the road.