Police tracking training software
How to buy police tracking training software
If your PD is still manually tracking officer training,
your operation is neither effective nor efficient
By Ron LaPedis
article, I wrote about how tracking officer training can help you if
you are called in by an angry board of supervisors, police commission, or
defense attorney. If your agency is still tracking officer training manually,
that would mean you have to search through a bunch of file drawers for
hand-written, and possibly illegible or faded documents, whenever you are
required to show which officers have received training in which skill.
With the availability of advanced immersive simulation for
everything from how to handle a firearm to incident de-escalation to
active-shooter training, the amount of information you need to track has
Technology now lets you combine printed, computer-generated
and simulator session records in the cloud, freeing up physical space in the
office and giving your staff back the time to focus on what truly matters: Delivering
cutting-edge training to keep your cops and communities safe.
Here are six questions to ask before buying police tracking
1. Does the system
work like you work?
Will you need to change your procedures to shoehorn them
into the software? There are many software implementation disaster
stories because they required wholesale changes to the way that an
organization worked before the software was implemented.
Of course, this brings up a really good question: Do you
have a training process and procedures manual or do you “wing it?” It’s much
easier to implement an automated process if you already have a written process.
2. What does the
At a minimum you need it to hold each employee’s name, ID
number, staff position and contact information. You also need to register all future
internal and external training classes, and the dates, times and number of
slots for each future session. Can you enter a class description and duration
just once (say driver training) and then link future sessions (weekly or
monthly presentations) to it, or do you need to enter every session as if it
was a new class?
Don’t forget you also need to enter past classes and who was
in them, as well as their scores or evaluation notes.
3. Does the system
handle firearms qualifications, scores and pass/fail details?
Can it easily track the weapon, serial #, make and model used
for the qualification? While each officer should have their own issue sidearm
and maybe a personal backup, patrol rifles are usually “communal,” and you may
want to look up qualifications by a specific firearm.
4. How easy is it to
look up information?
Can you check what classes are available, who has signed up
and who has been invited but has not yet signed up?
Does it have a dashboard for each officer, showing what
training they took and when it was taken? Can it show which mandates have not
been met by each officer and how long they have to complete the mandate before
they need to be put on suspension?
Why would you need to suspend an officer because he or she
missed some training? Did you know that lawsuits can be filed under Title
42, U.S. Code, Section 1983, for failure to train? This
PoliceOne “Legal Corner” article is a must read if you need some
ammo to help increase your training budget.
5. Does the system
have a built-in mail merge feature?
This feature can be used to select the participants you
would like to invite to an event and send them an invite with the dates and
times, location with a map and a link to the sign-up page. Can it send a
reminder to participants the day before the training?
6. Does the software
integrate with other systems?
To avoid entering information twice, look for software that
integrates into systems like personnel scheduling, and payroll and accounting.
Can the system keep track of expenses including course name, location, start
date, number of participants, total expenses and reimbursement status? Many
classes have federal or state funding but you need proof of attendance and
expenses to claim it.
Software to track officer training can be a huge
productivity booster – or a time sink – depending on what you buy and how you
use it. If implemented properly, it can make life easier for your training and
accounting staff, ensure that officers receive the training they require and,
most important, help prove your department is meeting community standards.