Springfield police department to adopt paperless system

August 1st, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Business Process Automation

As more organizations make an effort to improve their enterprise content management systems, professionals in fields that range from finance to healthcare to government administration are opting for paperless programs. Now, law enforcement agencies are making the switch to digital processes as well. 

The police department in Springfield, Ill., is moving into the future by adopting a digital system that will be simpler, more efficient and more environmentally friendly than the paper-based methods the force currently uses. The region's city council recently approved the allocation of $300,000 to help the police department update its content management programs, and the Springfield State Journal-Register reported that moving to a completely digital system is the currently the number one priority for the department. 

"We want to be paperless because we understand it will make our job easier and make us more efficient," Police Chief Robert Williams told the Journal-Register. "You don't want to do it so quickly you create other problems."

According to the East Central Illinois News-Gazette, the current system in Springfield requires detectives and officers to take notes entirely by hand. Those reports are then reviewed by a supervisor and scanned by a document conversion service that creates digital files of the paperwork. The department is one of a few of its size in the state that still relies on reports that are handwritten – most other departments with a staff this large moved to digital services in the early 2000s. Officer Michael Newman, who worked in a suburban Chicago police department before making the move to Springfield, said that his previous station was paperless, which  which helped operations run more efficiently.

"We save quite a bit of time, and we keep people on street where we need them," Newman told the source.

Officials hope to see the Springfield police department become completely paperless by 2014. 

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