Law enforcement embraces paperless crime fighting

The police department in Springfield, Illinois has received a new tool for fighting crime and it isn't some kind of weapon found in any futurist cop movie that Hollywood is turning out. Instead, it is an improved way to share information and enter data through an integrated digital system.

According to the Belleville News-Democrat, a newspaper in Southwestern, Illinois, law enforcement is shelving the hand-written reports that have been used for years in favor of an electronic solution. Currently, they are one of the last departments of its size in the area to still use paper records.

The old system required officers to hand-write all reports and then scan them into the database. Names and ages were added separately to each document once it was in the database to make searching easier. The new system will be based entirely on computers.

"We're trying to take an antique system and upgrade it," Springfield police commander Gregg Williams, told the news source. "But the whole paperless process is difficult. If you try to put too much into a system that is too old, you could end up shutting it down."

The police department realized that updating to a paperless solution is not as easy as it seems. Companies can't just buy some hardware and software then plug it in, hoping it will work right out of the box. The new solutions need to be integrated with the old ones to successfully streamline operations. This can be possible by partnering with a document scanning and management service provider.


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