Numbers at a glance:
19 Sworn Officers 4 Civilians 7 Auxiliary 18,000 Population Served PLEAC & CALEA Accredited
In 2012, Lt. Leon Crone of Lower Allen Township Police Department began the practice of collecting policy signatures electronically to simplify the tracking of officer acknowledgment but still didn’t have an easy way to maintain and make policy edits.
Without a way to control policy revisions, Lower Allen would have multiple versions in their shared drive, putting employees at risk of following outdated versions.
When the time came to update policies, each series of changes would take a day or more to make because the policy would be dropped in an interdepartmental mailbox, the receiver would mark up their changes and then drop it back into the sender’s mailbox. The next day, the changes would be made on the Word copy of the policy and dropped back in the mailbox to await further feedback. All told, the entire revision and review process could take days or weeks to complete. Once a policy was finally updated, Lt. Crone would need to remember which standards applied to which policies and manually update his PLEAC and CALEA accreditation files.
When it came time to ensure all officers were up to date on their training requirements, Lt. Crone would have to sift through both paper training records and Excel spreadsheets. With training records in two places and no proactive reminders in place, officers were often left scrambling at the last minute to meet their mandated training requirements.
“Processes that used to take hours, can now be done in minutes, saving us valuable personnel time to focus on actual police work and solving problems in our community.”
Leon Crone - Lieutenant-in-Charge, Lower Allen Township Police Department
Government administrators knew that the Henderson Police Department and Fire Department were using PowerDMS. When Merhi heard about collaborative workflow feature built into PowerDMS, she knew it was just what the city needed.
Now, instead of having to gather and organize policy feedback simultaneously from many different people, she can set up an automatic workflow. This lets her see which collaborators made which edits and notes, and ensures that everyone is working on the same version of the policy.
She says the electronic signature feature in PowerDMS is also a significant asset. In the event of a complaint, the city can show that the employee signed off on the policy in question. Administrators can even see detailed information such as the dates the employee opened the policy and signed it. This helps hold employees accountable and protects the city as a whole.
PowerDMS also helps Henderson’s city, fire department, and police department keep up with ever-changing best practices and regulations. Leaders can easily collaborate on policy changes, make sure everyone has access to the most up-to-date information, and gather employee signatures. This protects the entities, ensures that employees can do their jobs safely, and helps the city serve the community with excellence.
In early 2013, Lower Allen purchased PowerDMS to streamline their policy management and accreditation processes.
Lt. Crone noticed immediate gains in process efficiencies in the areas of policy updates, building accreditation files and maintaining employee training records.
With PowerDMS’ version control, employees were no longer at risk of looking at an outdated policy and can only access the most current published version. Policy reviews are much more proactive with automated reminders to regularly review, rather than waiting for a change in state law or an accreditation standard. Policy updates are made in real-time with online workflows and collaboration.
Lt. Crone’s daylong waits for changes are gone: he now sees suggestions and edits in real time. Once policies are updated, Lt. Crone is automatically notified which PLEAC and CALEA standards have been impacted, so he no longer has to go hunting for which standards to update.
By loading all of their training records in PowerDMS, Lt. Crone has a convenient central location for all officer training. With reporting, he can quickly see who has or hasn’t completed their required training hours. Additionally, 30-60 days prior to a training requirement expiring, he can proactively remind officers with automated reminders in PowerDMS.
Using PowerDMS to streamline their daily operations has allowed Lower Allen to achieve a greater level of operational excellence.
Lt. Crone is operating more proactively with automated reminders rather than reacting to policy or accreditation standards changes. The time it takes to update a policy has been cut in half and can be completed in as little as a day. Lt. Crone is also proactively alerted when a policy change affects his accreditation, rather than spending his time figuring out what he needs to update.
Employees are well informed and not at risk of following an outdated policy
50% reduction in time to update policies
Cut time to prepare accreditation files by 50%
Officers are proactively reminded of upcoming training and are no longer scrambling to meet mandatory hours