Starting A Small Police Agency
Alma is a small town in Texas that was incorporated in the 1970’s. It may be quainter than you imagine, simpler than even Mayberry from the Andy Griffith’s show. But being small doesn’t mean that Alma doesn’t have its challenges. Not long ago, the town welcomed a new Luv’s Travel stop. Progress brought many benefits, but it also brought a couple robberies and repeated speeding issues. The latter was particularly concerning as it was in proximity to the local daycare. Alma had little choice but to form its first police department.
Choosing Affordable software
Standing up a police department is more work than you may imagine, even when the department staff consists of just a chief and two reserve police officers. A small police department like Alma still needed digital records software (RMS) and opted to deploy e-citations to streamline data collection and reporting. The agency ended up purchasing the SAAS service by EFORCE after receiving a recommendation from Richland PD who is a customer.
Setting Everything Up
The project might not have happened if it weren’t for Linda Blazek, who is the city secretary, clerk, building permit authority, grant writer, HR, and payroll (we said Alma was small.) “I talked with a lot of officers and people before setting this up. I knew that in order to be successful we had to find a system that was easy for our small department to use.” By using EFORCE, the hardware costs for Alma were minimal. An iPad, wireless connection, and Bluetooth printer were all they needed to use with EFORCE’s browser-based system. “Our officers love e-citations because they can simply scan the citizen’s driver’s license with the iPad and the information is captured instantly. I appreciate that the data is automatically transferred to our court.”
Alma has the advantage of using several EFORCE products, which enables all of their information to seamlessly flow from one application to another without the cost or maintenance of software interfaces.
The New Operation
Now that Alma has its PD, Linda’s focus is shifting to a new municipal building. Fortunately, their current PD is not a drain on resources. After the initial cost of the EFORCE system, the ongoing expense for the town is limited to a modest annual support fee. Linda opted to take advantage of EFORCE’s free hosting services, so she does not need to hire an IT professional to maintain her system. Fortunately, for the town of Alma, as they grow, EFORCE will be able to grow with them. While their current system only has two users, EFORCE has customers with hundreds of users. That gives Linda comfort that she made the right choice and that her new PD has the underpinnings to be successful.