Although investigations case management software can help law enforcement quickly search across databases and discover new information, nearly half of of US police agencies are still not using case management software, according to a new survey.
The Wynyard Group, a leader in advanced criminal intelligence and security analytics software, in August 2016 surveyed 271 law enforcement professionals representing various size state, county, municipal and federal agencies across the United States.
The report defined Investigations Case Management as “software [that] helps agencies to build, manage and close cases more effectively and efficiently.” Law enforcement use investigations case management software to increase situational awareness and track case progress, among other things. The survey respondents said they use case management for all types of investigations and crime types.
Of the respondents who do use investigations case management software, 67 percent use a customized system developed by their own IT staff or a contracted vendor. The remaining 33 percent are using a “commercial, off the shelf (COTS)” product. The survey revealed a high level of dissatisfaction with current systems, particularly among respondents using a custom-built solution.
Those with custom systems had a Net Promoter Score of -64 percent, while those using COTS software systems had a -44 percent score.
“Almost every industry, from manufacturing to supply chain logistics to tax and accounting have gone through this same evolution,” said Chris Stauber, Senior Vice President for Products, at Wynyard. “In the beginning when there are few vendors working a problem, it’s generally better to build your own solution. As the industry matures and a market develops, it becomes far more cost effective to buy off-the-shelf from a technology vendor than to try to build and then support the solution yourself.”
The surveyed law enforcement professionals were also asked about their use of smart phones and tablet computers. Forty-three percent of the respondents said officers in the field use both smart phones and tablet computers, 32 percent said they have smart phones only and 2 percent have tablet computers only. The remaining 23 percent do not have smartphones or tablets.
The report indicated that the capabilities most sought after in case management systems include ease of use, improved analytic capabilities, access or sharing of more types of data from other databases, and better search capabilities.