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Public Records

The future of community policing for improved safety and trust

A magnifying lens on law enforcement officials adds a layer of stress to an already high-stress occupation. But law enforcement and those they serve do have something in common: they both want a safe community. Of course, to accomplish this goal, they must work together to identify challenges, solve problems, and share information.

Creating this atmosphere of mutual support and reliance can be challenging. Fortunately, with the use of technology, law enforcement now has powerful tools they can use to help grow this environment of trust and assist in working as partners to empower communities for public safety.

A police force that looks like its citizens

An effective partnership between law enforcement and the community begins with law enforcement being representative of the community they protect; however, law enforcement often isn’t reflective of those living in the community.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, minority communities still have a disproportionate number of white male officers. Although steps have been taken to recruit more minorities, the country’s population is changing far more quickly than the effort made by law enforcement to resemble the communities they serve; the number of diverse officers is not keeping up with the changing demographic.

The trend of focused recruitment of diverse leaders, such as women and minorities, must continue so that law enforcement and the community they serve can build a strong partnership. To aid in that pursuit, law enforcement can use tech tools like diversity recruiting and sourcing software and client management systems (CMS) to help stay in touch with minority applicants and assist them in navigating the application process.

Additionally, to maintain the knowledge and valuable information of seasoned minority members of law enforcement who will be retiring records management systems (RMS) is another tech tool that can be utilized.

Safety and trust – improved outcomes for an effective partnership

It’s not surprising that a community may not trust law enforcement that doesn’t look like the community that it serves. But technology can assist in building trust. For example, law enforcement can use tools like body cams to aid transparency.

The use of body cams leads to transparency and aids in assuring that information about an incident is reliable and accurate. These tools allow the community to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions and help build trust.

When trust has been established, a community member is more likely to provide information that can help lead to an arrest, preventing additional crime. Everyone is safer when citizens become the eyes and ears of the police.

Also, law enforcement can use incident data to make staffing decisions. Predictive policing computer systems can analyze large sets of data to forecast crime with algorithmic techniques. The use of this technology helps ensure that a sufficient workforce is being utilized to keep officers and the community safe.

The power of real-time data

Law enforcement needs to receive data in real-time that they can access across jurisdictions to combat crime. This is especially important when dealing with emerging crimes, such as cybercrime. Law enforcement officers and investigators needs fast, accurate information to be prepared for any situation. Having access to real-time and historical data improves both officer and community safety.

Fortunately, access to this type of information is now available. The Springfield, Massachusetts, Police Department (SPD) had only minimal information to locate a dangerous sexual predator who had raped and held a woman captive against her will. The only information that the victim knew about the perpetrator was his first name and the name of a street where he may, or may not, have lived, which the victim had gathered from social media.

Using this minimal information, SPD used the Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions search database to identify the perpetrator. Risk & Fraud Solutions generated a list of more than a dozen names of people in the Springfield area, which allowed a crime analyst to use social media to skillfully confirm the identity of the person who raped and held the victim against her will. This is the power of Risk & Fraud Solutions.

The future of community policing

With the assistance of modern public records technology, law enforcement can rapidly and reliably access phone records, search for license plates, and provide real-time arrest and incarceration information. And that’s just the beginning of all that is possible.

Now is the time to see all that Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions can do to help safeguard your community.

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