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Grapevine Police Department Gains Buy-In for Laserfiche Forms

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The City of Grapevine, Texas, is a lively suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with a population of a little over 50,000 residents. It boasts over 200 restaurants, bars, and wineries, and is perhaps best known for the annual “Grapefest” wine festival that overtakes its Main Street each September.

When she took on the mission to digitize the Grapevine Police Department’s operations, Technology Services Captain Rebecca Graves knew she had her work cut out for her.

A 17-year veteran of the PD herself, Capt. Graves describes many of her 60 fellow officers as “old hats” who didn’t necessarily see a problem with the paper-based processes they’d always used.

She admits that in general, “Cops don’t like change.”

Introducing Laserfiche Forms to the Grapevine PD

But Capt. Graves and a few others saw the potential of Laserfiche Forms to simplify the mounds of paperwork that police departments continually generate.

Laserfiche Forms is a versatile solution for replacing paper-based forms with digital counterparts. The real magic of Forms happens when someone hits “submit.” Forms kicks off automated workflows, routing the information and automatically alerting anyone who needs to see, approve, or modify it. Then, the data is stored in the Laserfiche Repository, which serves as the central document and data storage hub for the organization. The repository ensures that the collected data and associated documents are securely stored, indexed, and easily retrievable.

Laserfiche Forms is the City of Grapevine’s go-to digital solution for form management and process automation, particularly since migrating to MCCi’s CJIS-ready Managed Cloud solution in 2020. The Police Department now uses around 30 forms on a regular basis—but it didn’t happen overnight.

“It doesn’t do any good for me to design a form and force it on the officers,” Capt. Graves says. “It’s really important in any police department to get buy-in.”

She had to find ways to demonstrate the many time-saving benefits that Laserfiche could offer, rather than enforcing a top-down change.

Briefing Sheets: The Gateway to Laserfiche Adoption

So how did she win over the department? She points to one form as the “gateway” to helping officers buy into Laserfiche: Briefing sheets.

As in most PDs, sergeants must fill out briefing sheets four times daily, at the beginning of each shift, to ensure that dispatchers have relevant information about officers’ location, equipment, and so on. Prior to Laserfiche, sergeants filled this form out on paper, and the administrative assistant manually typed it into an Excel spreadsheet.

Now, sergeants can quickly enter this information into a Laserfiche form from their computer or mobile device—providing data to dispatch in real time, reducing the risk of data entry errors, and freeing admins for more valuable work.

“I had a lot of—pardon me—crusty old sergeants that I had to win over,” Graves says with a fond chuckle. “When I first introduced this idea, I went to a [senior] sergeant and had him demo it with me. Because if I could win him over, I knew it would work. Now it’s just an everyday fact of our department.”

Forms on the Go: Expense Reports, Training Certificates, and More

But sergeants aren’t the only police officers benefiting from the ability to work on the go. Forms that everyone loves to access on their mobile devices include expense reports and training certificates. Rather than needing to keep track of paper receipts or certificates and make photocopies when they return to headquarters, they can upload photos directly into Laserfiche for faster, easier approvals.

Onboarding Processes

Potential officers are introduced to the time-saving power of Laserfiche Forms before they even start at the PD.

Onboarding new officers is a thorough, deliberate process that can’t be rushed. But Laserfiche Forms has streamlined the process to remove unnecessary delays.

In Texas, potential officers must fill out a personal history statement that’s typically 40 printed pages. But with Forms, Capt. Graves and her team have reduced that to an average of 11 by allowing applicants to skip sections that aren’t relevant more easily. For instance, one section asks about military service. In the Laserfiche form, this section only displays if the applicant selects a radio button saying they have served in the military. All others never even see these questions, cutting down on confusion and the amount of paper that ultimately needs to be printed for compliance purposes.

As a result of this and other process improvements, Grapevine PD has shortened the average onboarding time for new officers from about six months down to four.

The Grapevine PD’s success story shows that it’s possible to get buy-in on digital transformation practically anywhere.

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Are you ready to find easier ways to work and save time at your organization?

Contact us for a personalized consultation to discuss Forms processes, change management, or any aspect of your digital transformation.