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New Mesa Police Records System 'Immediate And Critical Need'
Mesa Police Department switched from paper records to digital in 2005, but it hasn’t updated its system since then.
“It’s no longer supported, there are vulnerabilities to it that are not acceptable to use in public safety and it's time for a new one,” said Commander Bill Peters. A memo to city council called replacement an "immediate and critical need."
Mesa City Council recently approved a $3 million upgrade to a system made by Canadian company Versaterm.
The Mesa police department tracks thousands of records including police reports, 911 calls, arrests, booking photos and traffic tickets — almost any contact with the public.
Right now, officers have to type in information to multiple systems. Many officers still write tickets by hand, Peters said.
“All this redundant time and redundant data and all subject to human error,” Peters said.
The new system, for example, will allow officers to scan a driver’s license with a smart phone and automatically input the data into a ticket, court or jail records.
Several other East Valley cities including Tempe and Chandler use Versaterm.
“There’s the potential for data sharing between agencies,” Peters said.
The new system will also fulfill a requirement from the FBI to change its reporting to meet federal standards.
Mesa’s police department was able to use federal funding to pay for the first years of the new system.
Peters estimates officers will be using the new records management system (RMS) by fall 2019.
“I never in a million years thought about when I went to police academy I’d be excited about an RMS system and managing that,” Peters said.