Bothell Police Department Case Study

By the Numbers: 60 Commissioned Officers 27 Non-Commissioned 41,300 City Population Served WASPC Accredited

March 15, 2021

Centralizing Critical Content

The Bothell, WA Police Department has used PowerDMS to centralize document management, training and accreditation to achieve harmony between policy and their officers' actions.

Captain Denise Nielsen got more than she ever imagined she would when she selected PowerDMS as a document management system for the Bothell PD. Captain Nielsen's department was struggling under the pressure to keep policies and mandates up to date and ready for timely dissemination
when public information requests come in. So, Captain Nielsen set out to rid the department of the mounds of paper, and hodgepodge of training manuals, SOPs, policies and directives that were slowing them down.

She looked to PowerDMS for a cloud-based information management system to centralize their documents and training to optimize all of their paper-based daily operations. Captain Nielsen began with inputting policy updates, training information, executive orders, city emergency plans and emergency school response maps. Captain Nielsen reports, "What we've found is that officers just really appreciate having one location where they can easily find what they need."

Overcoming Other Challenges

Meanwhile, Captain Nielsen began to wonder if PowerDMS could also help them overcome challenges the department was facing in their training department. The problem the Bothell PD began to see with their former training system was two-fold. One, it was difficult to track and ensure that officers were staying up to date on their training. Two, officers weren't receiving credit for all of the training hours they had completed.

The PowerDMS online training tools have changed all of this. Officers can now access video components and online content remotely, and sign off on each component electronically. The tracking ability has enabled the department to give credit where credit is due. "PowerDMS allows you to be more proactive, and it allows you to better capture all of the training," says Captain Nielsen. This system supports compliance and continuity, and protects the officers and the agency against anyone potentially "falling through the cracks."

"Using PowerDMS has helped our department make sure that we not only have policies that say we're doing the right thing, but that we are actually consistently doing what our policies say. For me, that is the largest impact."

Captain Denise Neilsen

Going Electronic

After streamlining their training management and daily operations, Captain Nielsen decided to pursue state accreditation and leverage PowerDMS to manage it electronically.

When she began her accreditation process with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) they were using a completely paper-based system. WASPC had historically only accepted paper files but allowed Bothell PD to be a test case for electronic accreditation. Bothell PD completed the accreditation process both on paper, and with PowerDMS. Captain Nielsen shared, "The process that we went through was so much easier with PowerDMS." Upon completion, the WASPC assessors were so pleased with the results of this test, that they are now accepting PowerDMS for other agencies who want to use it.

The Value of PowerDMS

Captain Nielsen says she would highly recommend PowerDMS to other agencies. For her, the real value comes from ensuring that they as a department are truly reflecting the values expressed in their policies and best practices to the community they serve. By having all of their critical compliance and operational processes managed and tracked in one central location, they can provide
proof of excellence with a click of a button.

Using PowerDMS preserves the integrity of Bothell PD, while showing outsiders their actions reflect their policies.

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