Using Records To Find Missing Persons

June 29, 2020 by Kate Nadolski

Using Records To Find Missing Persons

When law enforcement agencies don’t have a seamless way to collect, analyze, and store data, critical information can get lost.

The Elgin Police Department in Illinois used to be a pen and paper agency, completing all their reports in Microsoft Word documents. Along with the manual reporting process, the department was also using multiple disparate systems and dealing with siloed data.

Kristie Hilton, public information officer for the Elgin PD, said they were looking to become more professional with their reporting and combine systems as best as they could. To do this, the Elgin Police Department implemented a new law enforcement records management system.

“The way our public safety systems work together, it just made the most sense for what we were trying to achieve,” said Hilton. “Having a strong records management solution is helpful for a department like ours in a variety of ways.”

With this system, the agency was able to develop their ‘Family Finder Program.’

“We create alerts for people who have the tendency to wander or go missing. Some of these people have Alzheimer’s or autism,” Hilton said. “We’ve created a database within the system so that officers have access to these pictures in the field should they come across someone who needed to report a missing loved one, or if they find somebody. The flexibility within the system to create the things we need to help address the needs of our community has been amazing for us.”

The records management solution has also been beneficial when identifying trends and communicating them to the public. Hilton said their department makes it a point to keep the community in the loop.

“It can be crime trends, like a burglary,” Hilton said. “We can put that information up and see those trends within the system. That helps us get information out as quickly as possible.”

Hilton said her department is pleased with their automated reporting processes, improved access to data, and fluid information between applications.

“It’s a smoother process. You’re not going into records, and then corrections, and then mobile for things, you’re going to be able to see things across the platform in one area.”

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