Critical Police Content at Critical Moments

How Cleveland (TN) Police Department drives accountability while saving $19,000 on paper.

December 29, 2020

Article highlights
  • Making sure officers have critical content when they need it most.
  • Cutting paper costs while protecting the community.

WRCB-TV and WDEF-TV in Chattanooga recently aired stories highlighting how Cleveland (TN) Police Department has saved $19,000 on paper while increasing accountability by using PowerDMS.

With PowerDMS, instead of memorizing new protocols or carrying around a large policy binder, officers can access policies on the go from their laptops or mobile devices.

Keeping Content Accessible

Police officers are expected to hold a massive amount of knowledge in their heads at all times. Recalling laws, protocols, hand-to-hand maneuvers, and driving techniques are all part of the job.

In high-stress critical incidents, it can be challenging for even the most experienced officers to recall precise protocols for every possible scenario.

This is why giving officers some way to recall accurate information quickly is crucial.

“We don’t have an excuse anymore,” said Sgt. Evie West, Cleveland Police Department. “If we’re on a scene of a domestic or in-custody death, we can look up right with our phone, our mobile device or our MDTs, mobile data terminals, and check what is the protocol.”

Watch and listen to Sgt. Evie West's full comments below:

Officers who can’t access the content they need in high-stress situations pose a risk to themselves, their agency, and the community at large.

As challenges to law enforcement evolve and increase, proper policies must grow to meet them.

An officer not knowing exactly how many pumps of a NARCAN spray to give to an overdosing patient, for example, could be the difference between life and death. It also reflects a lack of professionalism to the community.

Prioritizing Critical Policies

When looking at your policies and procedures, how do you decide which ones to hone in on first? With the PowerDMS mobile app, this is a non-issue, as all policies and procedures from sexual harassment to use of force are accessible with a few taps on a smartphone.

Perhaps your policies aren’t yet suitable to be placed in the hands of officers in high-stress situations, and they need to be changed.

The task can be overwhelming, but a good place to start is to look through recent disciplinary reports to find commonly violated rules or regulations. Were these policies violated due to a lack of training or inaccessibility on the part of the officer?

Did the violation occur in a high-stress situation? Use these scenarios to point to the policies with the greatest need for revision.

Revising and perfecting policies around hot-button issues like use of force, body-worn cameras and community policing can help your agency stay current.

PowerDMS customer, Cleveland PD, recently sent officers updated procedures and policies around the transgender community. With the PowerDMS mobile app, the update was available to each officer quickly and effectively.

Once policies are uploaded to PowerDMS, officers have a readily-accessible reference to situations and how to handle them, reducing liability both for the department and the individual.

Watch Cleveland Police Department use PowerDMS to increase accountability and save money:

How PowerDMS Helps

Before using PowerDMS, officers at Cleveland Police Department were given binders of every procedure printed on paper.

Today, an email notifies officers of a department-wide change or new procedure, and they are required to sign off, acknowledging they read it. This entire process can happen seamlessly from an officer’s mobile phone or squad car computer.

Once the policy is in PowerDMS, officers can quickly reference it and know how to handle the situation, reducing liability for the police department and the community.

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