Interagency communication is an essential component of a smooth and efficient police force however it can be difficult to get multiple forces on the same page at the same time. New York State recently granted $400,000 to Washington County police agencies so that they may network their databases together and make information sharing more efficient and easy. One the system is fully established, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and five village police departments will gain access to each other’s call databases, which officials hope will greatly aid in investigations.
Police agencies frequently deal with the same people, and each agency keeps records of their dealings with individuals. The new system will be able to not only help authorities tracking individual’s criminal history but also provide up to date information about where they were last living and their last interaction with authorities. This information will then be available to neighboring police departments who will presumably get a more complete picture of the people they deal with. Officials hope this will improve officer safety by making all officers more aware of previous law enforcement interactions.
Washington County’s new system is scheduled to come online in the next couple of months and is part of a series of technological advances designed to enhance cooperation and efficiency between the Sheriff’s Office, county dispatchers and village police forces. Police hope it will also make tracking crime trends much easier, as police agencies will now be able to see each other’s burglary, larceny and other crime reports, according to reports.
The grant is also going towards integrating new and updated technologies into Washington County police forces. The departments are set to receive cell phone service boosters, routers and new software which will let dispatchers see where patrol vehicles are in the county at all times. Patrol officers will also be able to identify the location of an emergency call’s origin so they can respond to crimes, accidents and fires more rapidly.
Reports suggests that neighboring police jurisdictions of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Glens Falls Police Department have been trying to combine networks as well; however there have been hang ups due to compatibility issues. Many other forces across the nation have embarked on similar efforts to improve inter department cooperation and communication. Improving communication and cooperation can help decrease liability concerns and losses for police officials.
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