Ohio County Selects IBM for Wireless Police Network
- By John Monroe
- Feb 06, 2000
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
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