Ohio County Selects IBM for Wireless Police Network

Hamilton County, Ohio, recently tapped IBM Corp. to develop an application

by which police officers will be able to file reports from the field, rather

than sitting at their desks for hours a day doing paperwork.

Project Cop-Smart — meaning Community Oriented Policing Strengthened

through Management and Reporting Technologies — has been designed to enable

police officers in their cruisers to create and send electronic reports

and documents using laptop computers and wireless communications.

When police officers were asked what could be done to make their days

more productive, "the overwhelming response was, give me a laptop, get me

out of all this paper," said Tom Russell, information technology manager

for the Hamilton County/Cincinnati Regional Crime Information Center, which

includes 44 local police agencies.

County officials said the application could reduce by 32 percent the

time police officers spend filling out reports. The number of police on

the beat will increase significantly without an increase in manpower, officials

said.

The contract, funded by a grant from the U.S. Justice Department, will

put the necessary equipment into the county's 650 patrol cars by November.

The application not only enables police officers to send the reports,

but it also makes it easier to fill out the reports and to manage the approval

process. Officers can tap into local, state or federal databases. The application — using an IBM product called FormRunner — will automatically pull relevant

data from those databases into the forms.

And the software updates those databases with the new information filled

out by officers and provides workflow management, ensuring that reports

go through the appropriate chain of command.

Lotus Development Corp.'s Notes and Domino technologies provide the

underlying management capability, said Karenne Smith, senior IT architect

for public safety and justice at IBM.

All information moving across the network is managed as a Notes document

or folder. For example, a police officer can attach a digital image to a

report, just as Notes users commonly attach documents to a Notes e-mail

message. Domino Server makes it possible for different users to collaborate

on documents as they move through the system.

Because police work is so paper- intensive, treating application data

as documents should make it possible for the police to move into a digital

environment without drastically changing the way they do their work, Smith

said.

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