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GCN : June 2015
28 GCN JUNE 2015 • GCN.COM case study BY STEPHANIE KANOWITZ LAW ENFORCEMENT SceneDoc’s mobile documentation platform lets police securely collect text, photos, video and audio in near-real time Palm Springs police break free of paperwork Police officers in idyllic Palm Springs, Calif., keep a box of 56 forms in their vehicles that they pull out when they respond to an incident. After they fill in the pa- perwork by hand, they take it to the station, digitize the information, up- load it, create a folder and move it to a secure location, where the evidence team grabs it and moves it again. “There’s a lot of inefficiency and man-hours wasted,” Palm Springs Po- lice Department Sgt. William Hutchin- son said. “Not only do we want to go paperless, but how can we keep the officers in the field longer without having to come to the station? We wanted a platform that could do a lot more than just forms.... We also want- ed [officers] to be able to take pictures and do audio or video — anything digital.” A few months ago, Hutchinson turned to SceneDoc for help. The com- pany specializes in policing as a plat- form, and its software platform en- ables public safety officials to securely collect information using mobile de- vices. In addition to digitizing all those forms, the latest version of SceneDoc lets users take photographs and record audio and video from their mobile devices. What’s more, it lets officers in the field communicate in near-real time with supervisors back at headquar- ters. SceneDoc’s system automatically syncs with the cloud so that super- visors can get case updates as they happen. Hutchinson said that feature has been a huge boon because there have already been situations in which a detective has been able to tell an of- ficer on the scene to ask someone additional questions. In the past, de- tectives would review files only af- ter officers had manually submitted them, and then detectives would have to hunt down the missing information themselves. Although it is still in the testing phase in Palm Springs, SceneDoc has already cut in half the amount of time officers spend on paperwork, Hutchin- son said. Using iPad Air 2 tablets, officers can log in, choose the type of form they need and then populate it by keying in information or selecting from drop- down menus. With a hit of the “save” button, all the information goes di- rectly to the police department’s serv- er, and officers can stay on their beats. “I suspect that with a little more learning and as the officers get to use this, that 50 percent [time savings] will be more like 60 to 75 percent as they start getting better at this, which I think is going to drastically improve our response times and the officers’ PHOTOCOURTESYOFPALMSPRINGSBUREAUOFTOURISMSCENEDOC 0615gcn_028-029.indd 28 6/4/15 11:14 AM