Shawnee City Commissioners have given the nod for the Shawnee Police Department (SPD) to enter into an agreement with eFORCE Software for professional services related to records management software (RMS) and computer-aided dispatch (CAD).

Shawnee City Commissioners have given the nod for the Shawnee Police Department (SPD) to enter into an agreement with eFORCE Software for professional services related to records management software (RMS) and computer-aided dispatch (CAD).

The Federal Government requires the change-over.

“The FBI mandates the reporting of crimes by law enforcement; the FBI has mandated that all law enforcement agencies move from UCR (Uniformed Crime Reporting) to NIBRS (National Incident Based Reporting System),” Shawnee Police Chief Mason Wilson said. “All law enforcement agencies must be NIBRS compliant by Jan. 1, 2021.”

The department has been researching options to make the change for the past 18 months, he said.

“This is the beating heart of our operation,” he said, “and such an important decision.”

He said he and his department staff have viewed about half a dozen presentations offering this service, as well as hearing customer testimonies.

“We received the most positive feedback about eFORCE,” he said.

Wilson said eFORCE is the only web-based solution.

“It will allow officers to complete paperwork from any internet connection,” he said. “That means they can use an iPad, iPhone — anything that has service from the internet.”

Writing electronic citations also would be an option with this service, he said.

“It will also allow the D.A. and the city prosecutors to have instant access to criminal charges or criminal citations,” Wilson said. “It will decrease the need for large servers at the police department and specialized equipment.”

He said the department had some e-citation machines in the past (that are now outdated) that used to run into thousands of dollars per machine, plus costly licenses each year to use them.

“Being web-based really reduces the cost as far as just using an iPad or an iPhone — really that's all we need with the services,” he said. “It will basically increase the officer productivity — with less trips to the station — putting more officers with more time on the streets.”

Wilson said the department has two systems that must become NIBRS compliant — the RMS, which is basically police reports, and the CAD, which is the communications center.

“RMS actually includes records, evidence and investigations,” he said. “And CAD includes not just the police department, but it would incorporate fire and ambulances services, too.”

Wilson said the time-consuming part of this process is migrating historical data from the UCR software to the NIBRS software.

To make the transition, Wilson said he estimates the initial setup to take from two to six weeks, and complete migration of the SPD's historical data somewhere between six and 12 months.

Wilson said prices for such systems range from $230,000 to $506,000. The deal in question, with eFORCE, had a price tag of $289,090, but after figuring in a 20-percent discount of $57,818 that was negotiated, the cost ended up being $231,272.

“There will be an annual license fee after the first year of $34,000,” Wilson said. “Our current annual license fee for our old software is $44,000.”

He said the department will save $10,000 each year on the annual license.

Wilson said since eFORCE is all-inclusive, it covers evidence management and investigation management, the department will be able to discontinue other services, saving even more money.

As far as paying for the software, portions fall under various fund categories.

“The CAD portion ($137,660) can be paid by 911 funds,” he said. “The RMS portion ($93,613) would be representative of our current public safety improvements with our new police facility.”

City Commissioners unanimously approved the item.

Mayor Richard Finley and Ward 6 City Commissioner Ben Salter were not at the meeting.

FBI's NIBRS mandate

Wilson included the FBI's NIBRS mandate in the City Commission agenda, which explains the proposed improvements:

Implemented to improve the overall quality of crime data collected by law enforcement, NIBRS captures details on each single crime incident — as well as on separate offenses within the same incident — including information on victims, known offenders, relationships between victims and offenders, arrestees and property involved in crimes. Unlike data reported through the UCR Program's traditional Summary Reporting System (SRS) — an aggregate monthly tally of crimes — NIBRS goes much deeper because of its ability to provide circumstances and context for crimes like location, time of day and whether the incident was cleared.

Because NIBRS can provide more useful statistics to promote constructive discussion, measured planning, and informed policing, the FBI has made the nationwide implementation of NIBRS a top priority. Approximately 43 percent of U.S. law enforcement agencies currently participate in NIBRS. To increase participation, the UCR Program is partnering with the Bureau of Justice Statistics on the National Crime Statistics Exchange, working with advocacy groups to emphasize the importance of NIBRS data and its utility, and transitioning the UCR Program to a NIBRS-only data collection by 2021. In addition, the UCR Program has made resources available to help agencies address the cost of transitioning as well as the potential perception that an agency has higher crime levels when NIBRS actually establishes a new baseline that more precisely captures reported crime in a community.

The vision for NIBRS is for it to become the law enforcement community's standard for quantifying crime, which will help law enforcement and communities around the country use resources more strategically and effectively. This will further supporting the mission of the FBl's UCR Program to generate reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management.