CAD, RMS and other Law Enforcement Software shouldn’t be dictating how your agency gets its work done
If you’ve been in law enforcement for very long, you’re sure to have heard all about where department policy and procedure comes from. No, I’m not talking about that guy on night shift with the monogramed seat cover in the Chief’s office. I’m talking about the “it’s always been done that way” phenomenon. The best explanation I’ve heard of to illustrate this phenomenon is the “Monkey Experiment”. (It’s not actually a real research experiment but does a good job of highlighting the principle.)
The long and short of it is that some researchers put several monkeys in a cage with some bananas hanging from a string in the middle. Every time one of the monkeys try to get the bananas, the researchers sprayed all the monkeys with water. Eventually, the monkeys learned to that the way to keep from getting sprayed, was to stop each other from getting the bananas. At that point the researchers stopped spraying the monkeys. Then, they introduced a new monkey who goes for the bananas and gets stopped by the others but is never sprayed. They continue replacing monkeys until there are five monkeys in the cage that have never been sprayed but stop each other from getting the bananas. At that point, you have a group of individuals who behave a certain way but can’t explain why.
Why does this happen in the first place?
We see this pretty frequently as we consult with agencies on how to improve their operations. It’s been my experience that when you ask an agency about a certain form or process, they often reply with either, “Our Judge/Prosecutor wants it that way” or “It’s always been done that way here.” We all know there’s not much that can be done about the way a judge or prosecutor wants things done, but when it comes to “it’s always been that way”, the root of that statement is almost always, “because that’s how our old software works.”
It’s an understandable occurrence. When Law Enforcement software was young, technology was young too. With their hands tied by the limitations of existing technology, vendors had to make decisions about how their product could best serve as many agencies as possible. Agencies also did the best they could to “improvise, adapt and overcome,” meaning they changed their practices to suit what was available to them.
To be clear, it’s naïve to think that this problem will ever go away. 20 years from now, we’re hardly going to recognize the “cutting edge tech” of today. When’s the last time you listened to an 8 track? But that’s precisely the point. The problem with software vendors and agencies alike, is failing to grow with technological advances; and it’s a prevalent issue.
Solving the problem
We’ve all heard the old adage of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And for a lot of things in Law Enforcement, I couldn’t agree more. Modern policing has lost touch with some tried and true enforcement practices in the name of “progress.” A cop that can solve a crime without surveillance footage is becoming a thing of the past, but I digress.
Today’s professionals understand that especially over the past few years, the Law Enforcement game has changed. As an agency administrator, you’re being asked to do more than ever, with less than ever. We’re seeing more and more reporting mandates from State and Federal Governments. Public engagement has changed significantly, and your agency needs to continue to adapt.
Your agency’s software plays a crucial role in streamlining the communication and paperwork of your agency. As those needs change, you need a software tool that is committed to keeping up. You shouldn’t be held back by your software products. If you find yourself with outdated tools, or a vendor that is struggling to grow, it’s time to look at EFORCE® Software.
EFORCE® Software is the most customizable “off-the-shelf” product in the industry. It’s as close as you’re going to get to a custom solution. With features like Dynamic Forms and customizable workflow, EFORCE® Software’s solutions help you build a tool that works FOR your agency, not the other way around. We’re a company that’s invested in our mutual future together, and we’re committed to being the last software provider you’re going to need.