When it comes to developing technology for law enforcement, the focus has historically been on providing patrol officers with tools to help them work more efficiently. But detectives can benefit from streamlined workflows and automation, too. In fact, while patrol officers are outfitted with software that allows them to write their reports faster, many agencies continue to rely on antiquated systems to manage their cases.
“We hear it time and time again that, even in large, large agencies, the primary ways detectives get assignments is by receiving a paper case file, a phone call or an email,” says Tim Wingerter, senior product manager, Axon Records. “There’s this huge problem in connecting the frontline first responder to the people who are ultimately going to be solving crimes. There is often no automated workflow or product experience that connects the two.”
That’s why Axon focused on developing a robust Case Management solution, a module of Axon Records. It’s designed to streamline case management for detectives and detective supervisors in five key ways.
1. Immediate case assignment
Forget having to wait for the case officer to complete his or her report and for a patrol supervisor to approve it before assigning it to a detective. Urgent cases can be assigned to a detective as soon as the incident report is opened, in parallel to patrol processes.
“What we’re doing is shrinking the window of time from when an event occurs until a detective can be assigned to it in the software,” Wingerter says. “It can now happen in near real-time, whereas before that might take the better part of an afternoon or even a few days. This is especially true for events involving domestic violence where you want to get the detective the information they need to start a follow-up as soon as possible.”
2. Real-time resource management
With Axon Records, you can easily check your detectives’ caseloads and review cases for training and support.
“This feature helps a leader in a detective unit run their unit operations more efficiently so they can keep track of everyone and then, when necessary, provide guidance on a case-by-case basis,” Wingerter says. “You can quickly assess to see if any cases are falling behind or needs help with a particular task. And given that you know every detective’s workload, you can quickly decide who to give a new case to.”
3. Centralized evidence
Records also allows you to keep everything you need to solve a case in one centralized location. No more having to log in to a separate digital evidence management system to watch videos or view photos.
This integration with Axon Evidence means you have the full power of the Axon network, allowing your agency to take advantage of Axon’s other industry-leading devices and technology to collaborate more effectively, get to the truth and accelerate justice.
Now, all of your evidence — body-worn and in-car camera footage, text messages, citizen cell phone videos, etc. — is right there in your case file.
4. Quicker case updates
Detectives spend an inordinate amount of time on administrative tasks, such as logging actions in their case files. It’s highly inefficient to have to create a supplement and write a narrative every time a detective leaves a voicemail for a victim or attempts to contact a suspect. In Axon Records, detectives can document the simple steps they take every day to keep their cases moving forward in an activity log that’s as easy to use as answering a few true/false questions.
5. Intelligent evidence routing
Another part of the workflow Axon Records will automate over time is evidence processing. No longer do detectives need to fill out cumbersome forms in which they must re-describe evidence that’s already contained in the incident report in order to request fingerprint analysis or a ballistics report.
“We envision detectives being able to send evidence out for processing by logging in to their case and selecting one of the entities that’s already listed in the property section of the report,” Wingerter says. “They just click it, and it’s there. They don’t need to re-describe its attributes. Then they can set a due date and send off their request.”
Crime lab staff or other evidence specialists then simply upload their report into the case file when it’s complete.
“No more waiting for manila envelopes to show up on your desk or wondering when evidence reports will come through your email box. Results are automatically added to cases, so you don’t have to worry about them being lost or having to scan and spending time attaching them yourself.”
Case management, improved
Axon Records offers a better way to manage cases and evidence from capture to investigations to courtroom. To learn more about Axon Records, contact us.