New software system will yield efficiency

Published 12:43 am Saturday, October 10, 2009

Law enforcement, welcome to the 21st Century. Clanton Police Department just started using a $34,000 record management software system that is bringing the city into compliance with the state’s “green mandate,” which requires police agencies to submit all reports electronically.

Though it was a requirement from the state, which didn’t provide any money for the purchase of the necessary equipment or its installation, the new method of filing reports will benefit police departments in the long run.

Clanton spent $34,000 on the software system, but Police Chief Brian Stilwell said the system will save the department time and money. Previously, officers and office clerks could spend several hours per day working through stacks of papers with pens and cumbersome code books.

Now, however, high-speed scanners can scan both sides of a report simultaneously. Then, the report is electronically filed with the state rather than mailed. Also, reports can be burned to a disc and submitted to the DA’s office, city council, or whomever.

“Had we not started using this system this year, I could foresee having to hire another data entry clerk,” Stilwell said.

Unfunded mandates are always a tough pill to swallow, but Clanton will be better off for having taken its medicine this time.