The management, storage, sharing and retrieving of information is a vital activity in the law enforcement sector. Document scanning and conversion of law enforcement records improves the efficiency of the department and enables easy sharing of information among various law enforcement agencies more easily and readily. Core information can be brought together in a collaborative manner so that it can be used effectively. At present, there are new database systems, communication systems and protocols that help fight crimes successfully.
The U.S. Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division serves 18,000 organizations and agencies by use of the latest advanced technology and statistical analysis. Fingerprints and crime statistics are among the information shared.
This information sharing system will help officers take action against
- Drug trafficking
- Identity theft
- Human trafficking
- Violent crimes
Importance of Law Enforcement Records
This type of record may be anything from a single line entry concerning an unlocated problem to lengthy, detailed investigative documents.
- Police officers are largely evaluated based on their written reports; so they must do their job well and within the scope of the law. The reports must be accurately documented and preserved carefully for reference and future use.
- These reports help superior officers to investigate the incident and pass judgement on the reports generated by the officers.
- The report helps to know about the number of victims in a particular incident, property used to attack, means of attack, object of attack and suspects. It also includes details such as odours, stains, sounds, action, statements and demeanour of witnesses, suspects and victims.
- It helps the prosecutors understand the full scope of the event simply by reading the event report.
- These reports may initiate further criminal investigation and are available to investigators who need them.
Digitization of Law Enforcement Records and Its Benefits
Conversion of law enforcement records enables the police, sheriffs and state troopers to have a more efficient process for storing and accessing files. Critical documents and files like photos, videos, and audio files can be digitized and stored in a secure environment. It helps eliminate use of paper, speed up processes and provide secure, instant access to safety personnel in the field and in the office.
- Important paper records can be converted into secure electronic files
- Old microfilm rolls can be digitally converted and preserved
- Manage retention and disposition schedule according to state regulations
- 24/7 web-based access enabled for officers and staff regardless of location
- Reduced overhead related to storage and reprographic costs
- Maximize employee productivity and efficiency to serve the community effectively
- Integrate with existing law enforcement system
- The digitized data can be shared among other law enforcement agencies
- Storage space can be reduced and the data archived in digital format in a secure environment
The Challenges of Digitization
In spite of these many advantages, some agencies still hesitate to go ahead with the digitization program. There are three main reasons for it.
- Cost involved: Many agencies believe that digitizing records can prove to be extremely costly. It is true that significant costs may be involved in a digitization project. However, modern scanning and digitizing technology makes this effort easier, and more affordable. The return on investment is considerable taking into account the huge amount of time saved and the reduced storage space needed.
- Quality of the scanned output: The possibility of low quality images of fingerprints or poor duplication of reports which would make records worthless is another major concern. However, sophisticated scanning equipment available today provides high resolution scanning, assuring exact duplication of important records.
- Safety concerns: Highly sensitive information leaving the control of an agency for days or weeks is also a matter of concern. The solution to this is to obtain the services of a document scanning company that provides onsite scanning. They will bring the scanning equipment to the client facility and provide the service so that there is no issue of the records leaving the organization’s premises.
Partnering with a Document Conversion Company
A reliable document conversion company will have advanced scanning equipment, trained and experienced personnel and other necessary infrastructure to provide excellent service. Managing huge volumes of data will no longer be a problem; moreover, accuracy is ensured for the scanned output through multilevel quality checking. They also ensure that the sensitive data is kept confidential. Law enforcement agencies undertaking major digitizing efforts with the support of a good service provider enjoy benefits such as reduced labour, faster retrieval times, and storage space savings.