Amidst New State Laws, Denver Software Company Provides Cutting-Edge Technology to Increase Law Enforcement Effectiveness and Build Community Trust
DENVER, December 16, 2021 (Newswire.com) - SmartForce®, headquartered in Colorado, is offering its latest application, CitizenContact for free to Colorado law enforcement organizations. With an earlier than expected deadline to comply and a substantial number of new requirements, local agencies need all the reliable help they can get. The tool is built specifically to help local agencies comply with new state law that includes the required data entry and reporting format compliance. More broadly, it supports law enforcement organizations and the communities they serve to use data, facilitate transparency, and communicate more effectively. Senate Bill 217 was one of several significant laws passed in the last two legislatures. The law requires Colorado law enforcement agencies, among other provisions, to collect data about the contacts they make during investigations and responses to calls for service and submit the data to the State's Division of Criminal Justice. The Denver-based company has been strategically partnering with law enforcement and providing software solutions that complement evidence-based policing practices since 2015.
The logic behind the SmartForce approach is if technology supports law enforcement in the most efficient and effective ways, then officers can be the most effective at protecting their communities. Collecting, analyzing, and communicating data are jobs that software tools like CitizenContact are made to do. SB 217 requires officers to collect perceived demographic data about every contact they make in the field during investigations and when they respond to calls and submit the data to the State. The Colorado Legislature in 2020 passed SB 217 that requires this increased reporting originally slated to go into effect in January of 2023. The 2021 Legislature then passed House Bill 1250 which moves the date up to April of 2022.
Preparing for major new changes requires resources and time. Local agencies have eight months less than the original timeline when SB 217 was passed to have systems and processes ready for compliance. Lack of time and resources sometimes result in agencies using outdated systems, pen and paper, burdensome reporting at the end of the shift, rigid software that was made for a different purpose, etc. Some agencies even try to build their own computer systems, but this resource-heavy approach is not feasible for many jurisdictions and its financially costly. Hours of valuable and already scarce officer time can be lost by using these methods while trying to overhaul organization-wide processes.
The SmartForce staff's deep knowledge of law enforcement operations as well as the latest research helps to create products that support the latest policing innovations. Chris Arvayo, Product and Customer Success Manager, explains the company's motivations and values: "We want to connect the community with the data agencies are collecting. After all, the ability to combat skyrocketing violent crime is to be able to establish partnerships with the community while engaging in ethical policing."
Simplified data collection, crime reduction, and increased public transparency are all aligned goals of equipping officers with the right tools to do their jobs. CitizenContact has already been piloted and tested by dozens of local law enforcement jurisdictions such as Summit County Sheriff's Office, Sheridan Police, and Fort Morgan Police. Chief Jack Cauley from Castle Rock Police department recommends it to his neighboring jurisdictions, "[The SmartForce® staff] have built a very easy to use and streamlined citizen collection per Senate Bill 217."
Source: SmartForce Technologies, Inc.