Universal Records Management Automates Reports for Redmond Police Department
"The processing of police reports has been totally streamlined, leading to reduced storage needs, increased efficiencies, and better access to information for the entire department."
Located between Washington’s dramatic Cascade mountain range and Puget Sound, the City of Redmond is a thriving community, fueled in particular by being home to the software giant, Microsoft.
Redmond’s Police Department is responsible for peace-keeping and law enforcement throughout the community’s residential, business and recreational areas. The Department’s Records Division is responsible for the standardization, accuracy, security and release of police reports and records.
Manual Processes & Multiple File Locations
Redmond’s records management system was completely manual and had no disposition policy. Every record was kept indefinitely. Prior to 2001, reports were stored on microfilm. After 2001, hard-copy records were physically stored—the Police Department was storing approximately eight years of paper files. They were literally running out of physical space for future documents.
To review a full case file, workers had to retrieve the contents from two sources. Electronic reports were accessed in Spillman, a report management software system. Hard paper documents were stored either in offices or in a vault. To ensure organization and security within the vault, access to it’s contents was limited. Formal requests were made to Public Disclosure Specialists who obtained needed documents, which were then returned for re-filing. The process involved the moving of boxes of documents, which was both time consuming and physically challenging.
Redmond Seeks Tier-one URM Solution
The Department recognized a pressing need to find an accurate and efficient system to store and manage these essential documents. Redmond looked to an Enterprise Content Management solution with a strong Universal Records Management (URM) component. With this in mind, the City established the following objectives:
- Reduce labor needed to file, store, retrieve and manage retention for police reports
- Allow users to effectively locate police records during the processing of other police work
- Provide access to all case management information from one location
- Automate the management and disposition of all records
- Eliminate the need for storage space
- Find an extensible solution that can be extended to other RPD divisions after implemented in the Records Division
Integrating EDMS with Case Management
Following the rigorous review of many integrators, ImageSource® was selected to implement the new system. The highly decorated VAR had clearly demonstrated vast experience with government organizations and mastery of Universal Records Management. A comprehensive project plan was established that would create a repository for all paper documents and provide an extensible Records Management solution.
To inject documents into the Oracle IPM repository, workers now scan paper records with Kofax Ascent Capture, and execute indexing and validation procedures. To reduce keystrokes and provide more accurate indexing, database lookups are performed to the Spillman system, which automatically populates designated fields.
ILINX® AIK Web Edition—software that allows images to pass effortlessly between applications—was put in place to allow employees to pull images from IPM and view them in the familiar Spillman Records Management system. Users working in Spillman, with the proper security rights, can now click a button and pull up a document stored in IPM without ever leaving the interface. This allows access to complete reports from a single point of entry.
Retention Schedules Automated
Repository in place, the next step was to apply records management policies and practices. Oracle URM offered the City a scalable and flexible records/retention management system to consistently apply to reports. The system identifies different types of records and applies the appropriate disposition instructions.
Police reports can be generated over time, so the trigger point for Records Management is the close date of the case. RPD utilizes the ILINX Bulk Indexing Updater, to consistently set one close date for all documents associated with a case eliminating the need to manually update individual files. The ILINX utility allows an administrator to run a search for all associated documents, establish an index value, click a button and automatically update the index value in every document.
Oracle URM automatically notifies appropriate staff that a record needs review when it reaches the point of disposition. If approved, URM will destroy the document and the report will be automatically deleted from IPM. If a report needs to be purged prior to the established date, ILINX Bulk Indexing Updater provides a simple way for administrators to bypass the records management lock.
Efficient Access to Reports
Filing, retrieving and the basic management of reports is more accurate and efficient. Redmond’s new automated system has provided the Police Department with singular access for documents associated with reports, including arrest documents, citations, correspondence, court documents, evidence filings, internal documents, medical narratives, photos and statements.
Documents that are now digital no longer require a Public Disclosure Specialist for access. This information is available from a desktop 24/7. Reliable security ensure that only those with certain designations have access to reports.
With an automated retention schedule in place, the Police Department now has a formal policy for records management. Going forward, reports will be assigned a disposition date, greatly reducing the number of documents the Department has to manage and retain.
Once the system is officially certified by State of Washington, paper documents taking space in offices and the vault can be eliminated, freeing valuable square footage.
Plans to Expand System City-wide
Redmond plans to leverage the benefits deployed by the Police Department to other departments in the City. The next beneficiaries will be the Administration Department’s personnel files and the Recruiting & Hiring office.
“I’ve been through bringing on new systems in the past and it is usually not this positive of an experience,” says Shawn Mary Fitzpatrick, Support Services Supervisor, Redmond Police Department. “ImageSource kept the project on track. I can’t say enough good things about the team we worked with … and look forward to working with them again in the future.”