US law enforcement agencies need more support; accurate reporting is key.

Understaffed and overworked law enforcement personnel are struggling to keep up with the demands of their communities. Media reports and politicians may cherry pick crime statistics to produce attention-getting stories, but the truth remains:  law enforcement, justice and victim advocacy professionals need a quicker, easier, more reliable way to collect, report and analyze the data that reflects their hard work. 

Dwindling government budgets and public pressure to defund threaten law enforcement resourcing.

Our state, municipal, and campus police forces are the backbone of keeping communities safe day in and day out. Unfortunately, due to a dwindling of government funds coupled with public pressure to defund departments, law enforcement budgets across the United States are under threat. This is an insecure climate for law enforcement department heads as they battle with limited resources, which necessarily impacts the level of care they’re able to provide.

In addition, the ‘Great Resignation’ has had a serious effect on morale and productivity in the professional workforce. Many experienced and talented staff have resigned/retired/moved on, leaving an urgent need to hire suitable replacements as well as a daunting task ahead of rebuilding morale among existing team members. 

Accurate data and current statistics will help law enforcement defend and demonstrate their critical contribution.

Now more than ever, the combination of accurate data and current statistics is absolutely essential for law enforcement to do their job successfully.

Reporting influences everything from Response Planning, providing information to evaluate response methods in various situations; Crime Prevention, revealing trends and correlations; Criminal Identification, tracking and profiling; to Risk Assessment, predicting behaviors, probability of danger, and probation decisions.

In addition, data collection, analysis and reporting help defend and demonstrate the critical contributions of law enforcement individuals, teams and whole departments. The impact of up-to-date data and information makes it incumbent on law enforcement agencies to prioritize continued recording of information. Unfortunately, too many departments are mired in time-consuming, inefficient and error-prone reporting methods like hand-written forms and excel spreadsheets, resulting in inconsistent, inaccurate and incomplete data.

Without accurate, up-to-date statistics, fair and adequate resourcing cannot be allocated. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Uniform Crime Reporting program provides an important source of crime statistics; unfortunately, in 2021 fewer than 50% of law enforcement agencies voluntarily reported their data, leaving an incomplete record for analysis.  There is a significant delay between when data is released and the timeframe it covers. And, the FBI recently revised its reporting system, enabling more detail but making it harder for agencies to collect, which impacts the quality of data, and the conclusions that crime reporting offers.

Case Management technologies are a promising solution for incomplete, inaccurate, under-reported and out-of-date data.

Departments are trying their best to capture law-changing, life-changing data; replacing handwritten accounts with powerful case management software is one solution to the ongoing challenge of collecting accurate, up-to-date data. The right technology allows law enforcement and victim advocates to move away from outdated processes and towards streamlined systems, allowing better accuracy over multiple sources and giving staff the ability to quickly correct errors and improve overall quality control. A more reliable method not only ensures data integrity but also saves time, saves money and builds trust and credibility. 

A solution is only a solution of course, if it works. If the wrong technology is cost-prohibitive, hard to adopt and requires too many work-arounds, staffers will quickly return to their legacy processes, especially when time is of the essence.

For the US to track accurate crime-rate statistics, Case Management technology solutions must be easy to use, fast, compliant, and affordable.

Any technology solution used to track crime statistics needs to be easy-to-use, faster than legacy methods, and reliable and repeatable by multiple users. To be useful at scale, data collection must also comply with FBI standards, along with National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and be affordable so that justice departments at every level can benefit. 

To properly assess risk, adequately resource our police and justice systems , and optimally serve our communities, we must have access to accurate data. Case management technology is a promising solution that will help close the information gap and ensure that law enforcement has the most up-to-date and comprehensive data at their disposal. 

Advocate Advantage has developed a reliable case management application specifically designed for law enforcement agencies. With powerful functionality, responsive real-time updates, intuitive dashboard, and mobile interface integration, police departments won’t have to choose between efficiency and accuracy. 

You work hard to make the world a better place – let us help you work at an easier pace.  

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