For the Sheriff’s Department of a large metropolitan county, B-Three implemented a comprehensive automated reporting system. Every report used by the Sheriff’s Department was fully computerized. Each report can now be completed by the reporting officer, submitted for supervisor approval, edited, printed, and approved electronically.
The project evolved from a demonstration for the Sheriff’s Department of the Automated Police Reporting System (APRS), which B-Three developed for the City of Pittsburgh. Under terms of an agreement between the City and the Sheriff’s Department, B-Three was authorized to adapt the APRS software into a system that would meet the specific needs of the Sheriff’s Department. (Note: APRS is described in more detail here.)
The desktop PC solution specified by the Sheriff’s Department immediately produced major improvements in efficiency, through such measures as:
- Implementing auto-propagation of repeating data.
- Increasing consistency across reports by utilizing standardized selection lists.
- Enhancing the content of narrative fields by making a spell-checking tool available.
- Validating addresses and plotting locations on Google Maps.
- Simplifying the task of statistical gathering by creating a fully relational database to house the electronic data.
- Automating the approval process workflow.
Authorized users can search the report repository (utilizing as many as eight different search criteria in any combination) and batch-print reports. By means of a clerical report interface, users can export report data in a spreadsheet-compatible format.
The assignments of officers, and their reporting relationships to supervisors, are managed through a Chain of Command module. This information is incorporated into the controls on the process of supervisor approval of the reports submitted by each officer.
In the concluding phases of the project, B-Three trained the system administrators and end users, and completed the documentation of the automated reporting system.