The Greenwood Village Police Department strives to provide consistent, first-rate police service. To meet this high bar, the department employs an outcome-based strategy that expands on traditional policing by proactively working toward better problem-solving and interventions through partnerships and community policing. Through this strategy, the department aims to prevent crime, fear of crime, and social disorder.
To implement this strategy, Greenwood Village has focused on improving all aspects of its operational communications, including real-time operational information sharing, shift briefings, and the management of major policing projects. Early on, it became clear that the use of email was hindering their policing strategy because it was an ineffective way to share information and was not able to drive the levels of organization, connectivity and accountability that were needed throughout the police department.
The email coordination model was neither repeatable nor scalable, and suffered from numerous limitations, including:
- Lack of a centralized communication solution to manage operations, shift briefings, information and intelligence sharing. Parts of the organization might sometimes be unaware of an ongoing operation even though there were static records of the calls in CAD and incident reports in RMS.
- No secure, centralized forum for coordination of multi-unit responses. Multiple units that should have been coordinated were duplicating efforts and tracking their results was challenging.
- Need for real-time visibility into current operations and projects. Command wanted the ability to monitor and adjust resources and strategies on the fly which was not possible through email.
- The organization was drowning in email which inhibited coordination between command and units.
- Nontargeted bulletins. Although they have long been a way to disseminate essential information, the department’s bulletins were not targeted, searchable or disseminated in a CJIS-compliant manner. Instead, bulletins were sent using a distribution list to all sworn employees.
The goal: Consistency and repeatability through a scalable solution
Providing the right people with the right software eliminated the limitations imposed by email. Using SmartForce™ as an agency management system, the Greenwood Village Police Department has achieved consistency and has been able to implement its policing strategies more effectively. By removing unwanted communication barriers and improving accountability, the department now enjoys the following benefits:
- Everyone starts the day with a common operational picture of department operations.
- Efforts are coordinated in real time.
- Communication and responses are actionable and role-based.
- Bulletins are targeted to the right people at the right time.
- Information is easily searchable in a CJIS-compliant manner, improving responsiveness.
- Efforts are focused. Units are self-directed and accountable.
- Immediate monitoring (and adjustment) via department leadership is possible.
- The department is mobile-enabled, so work can be done 24/7 from any location.
Results that speak for themselves
The Greenwood Village Police Department uses SmartForce™ Operations Discussions, a secure collaboration workspace for information and intelligence threads. This application helps the department organize communication between disparate units, track problem areas, and coordinate the appropriate resources. Here’s how it helped in the department’s response to a recent incident:
Police responded to a complaint of first-degree criminal trespass — a purse had been stolen from a vehicle. The on-scene investigation led to a possible suspect.
Within minutes, a detective created an operations discussion and added an image of the likely perpetrator to the discussion thread, directing patrol to be on the lookout for the suspect.
Within two hours, patrol responded to a call regarding a suspicious person in the parking garage of a complex near where the purse had been stolen. Upon arrival, the officers apprehended an individual who was attempting to hide from the police.
The suspect had several outstanding warrants, and the police had probable cause to charge the person with attempted burglary at that location.
With SmartForce™ Shift Briefings, the GVPD has a secure workspace for shift information and accountability tracking, allowing the department to track activities that require immediate follow-up. This application enables action items to be completed quickly and documented appropriately. So far, 99 out of 108 shift briefings have been completed with appropriate follow up.
Offering a secure project management space with workflows, SmartForce™ Assigned Problems allows the department to centrally manage and track intervention activities and projects for partnerships and community policing initiatives. To date, 101 out of 120 projects have been completed; the others are works in progress with clear goals and objectives.
One solution for many challenges
Most organizations are aware of their problem areas, hotspots and community concerns. They know what problems they face, and they know the appropriate response. But they often struggle with executing their strategy consistently and monitoring the results in a repeatable, scalable manner.
SmartForce™ Operations Discussions, Shift Briefings and Assigned Problems enable the creation of processes that are repeatable, scalable and free of common communication barriers. Departments can mold these processes to meet their own specific needs and then repeat those processes consistently, strengthening the foundation of high-quality policing.
“With the SmartForce platform, we’re able to connect our operations to the data we generate at levels we had only previously imagined,” said GVPD Chief John A. Jackson. “As we integrate additional SmartForce organizational options, we’re finding that using a single tool creates a virtual force-multiplier effect in the enhancement of our resource deployment strategies.”
After a response, whether it be to a crime, a community problem, or a partnership project, you want to be able to look back at the specific factors that contributed to your success or improvements that must be made, so you can obtain high quality results in the future. With SmartForce, you can do exactly that.