Improve Law Enforcement Transparency & Public Trust

Find out how policy management software for law enforcement can help you maintain transparency and build trust with your community.

August 24, 2022

Article Highlights

It's more important than ever for law enforcement agencies to maintain transparency as they strengthen trust within their communities. Ensuring policies and documents are publicly available gives the community an easy way to view them whenever they want more information about your department’s operations. This can help improve relations between law enforcement and the community – and also reduce the number of public records requests your agency receives and the time spent fulfilling them.

The problem: Lack of law enforcement transparency

While departments strive to uphold law enforcement transparency, especially as you seek to share their policies and procedures, it's difficult to maintain that transparency if you're using outdated document management processes, like keeping paper policies in 3-ring binders. 

This manual method makes it harder and more time-consuming to track updates, make changes, and ensure that the latest policy versions are publicly available. It creates greater liability and compliance risks if paper documents are lost or not updated because you missed a loose copy, or if staff is not properly trained and informed about the most recent policies. And if something goes wrong in the field, paper manuals can make it harder to prove your officers were compliant if you can’t prove they reviewed and acknowledged the latest policies.

These inefficiencies can create misunderstandings that erode community trust in department openness, decision-making, and commitment to protection. Additionally, paper-based processes can slow down your response to records requests, which further drives poor public perception and negative media coverage and hampers your efforts at building trust in law enforcement.

The solution: PowerPolicy by PowerDMS

PowerPolicy is PowerDMS’s policy management software for law enforcement agencies. It supports transparency into departmental practices by allowing you to publish timely, accurate information online while maintaining control of what is – and is not – available to the public. PowerPolicy’s public-facing documents feature enables your agency to publish documents online and gives them individual URLs, which can be shared publicly or embedded on your agency's website. With the platform’s search integration capabilities, these web-based documents can be found through Google searches or added to your department’s custom site settings and search index. 

Your department can also categorize and tag documents by specific fields, which are also indexed for full-text search, and users can bookmark important policies and procedures for later reading. Plus, public-facing documents in PowerPolicy are automatically updated when they're changed or when new policies are added to the site. This ensures that the most recent versions are available for public access.

PowerPolicy’s version control feature ensures this holds true internally, as well. The system automatically archives old policy documents, so only the most current version is available to staff. That way, no one in your department mistakenly references old policies or procedures for guidance. PowerPolicy also includes automatic notifications that alert staff to any activity that requires their attention, including review and approval tasks when a policy is updated and document releases that require acknowledgement.

The benefits of transparency in law enforcement

PowerDMS’s policy management software saves your law enforcement agency time and money by automating document management processes and reducing paper usage. You can save as much as $11,000 in paper and printing costs by placing all of your policies and procedures in PowerPolicy’s online central repository. This makes PowerPolicy some of the best law enforcement software for helping police departments become more efficient and reduce costs.

You’ll also reduce liability risk and drive greater accountability throughout your police department by keeping staff informed about policy and procedure updates. With features to track when staff review new policy updates, sign off on them, and even complete testing to show they understand, you can reduce liability insurance rates and protect your agency during lawsuits.

Finally, PowerPolicy can help improve law enforcement community relations by making information more accessible. Public-facing documents help your agency maintain accountability, transparency, and compliance, as well as speed up – and, in some cases, eliminate – request fulfillment time. Providing visibility into your department’s guiding policies and procedures can grow public trust and support a positive perception of law enforcement in your community.

Get started

PowerPolicy supports positive community relations and reduces your department’s liability risk by improving transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Schedule a free demo to learn more about how PowerDMS’ policy management software for law enforcement can benefit you.

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