Sheriff’s office stresses safety, accountability with new software

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York-Poquoson Police cruiser (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
York-Poquoson Police cruiser (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

When responding to emergency scenes, sometimes police are missing crucial details: What is the layout of the home? What entrance should police use? What policies – covering topics such as high-speed pursuits or blood-borne pathogens – are relevant to the situation?

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is on the cusp of changing the information disconnect.

The sheriff’s office recently added a new tool to their technology toolbox, a document management software called “PowerDMS,” according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The web-based software securely stores maps and floor plans of local schools, government facilities, apartments and other buildings in the county. Now, when deputies arrive on scene, they will have already made informed decisions about how to approach and enter a building, the release said.

“Embracing technology allows us to better safeguard our citizens and the Deputies who lay their lives on the line each day,” said York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs. “PowerDMS provides a secure, streamlined platform where our Deputies can access valuable intelligence, information, and training needed to do their jobs.”

PowerDMS also stores and distributes policy information about critical law enforcement procedures, such as use of force, dealing with blood-borne pathogens and high-speed pursuits.

When a policy is changed or added, PowerDMS notifies deputies and provides them the means to review and sign each update, the release said. The system also stores previous versions of the policies.

The software ensures officers are protecting themselves, their community and their agency’s reputation by directly delivering and tracking the policies and training deputies need to do their job, the release said.

Through their computer or smartphone, deputies can now find the policies quickly by searching keywords, instead of rummaging through filing cabinets or binders, the release said.

“Being able to keep the deputies well-informed of changes to a policy immediately translates to better compliance, because deputies are aware of changes as soon as they happen,” said Diggs. “They’re more invested in our policies, which ultimately builds their professionalism and strengthens trust among the community we serve.”

Of the 2,500 customers using PowerDMS, most are from law enforcement agencies across the United States, the release said. The software guarantees officers receive the work-related information they need, so they can be held accountable for their performance in the field and easily prove compliance after an incident.

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