How Ada County Sheriff’s Office Automated Departmental Records

Like most police agencies they had police records that involved employees, family members, and high-profile citizens and they didn’t want everyone in the department to be able to view their files.

The Problem

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office handles a large number of reports, daily, from multiple agencies. Each department has its own forms and retention requirements. They used Laserfiche Workflow in the Departmental Records (DR) division to efficiently file and share police reports among various agencies and police officers in the field.

"Our police department substations can also access these reports directly through Laserfiche Web Access."

The Solution

Capture the Report

Each department’s police report is in a different format. Hard copies of these reports arrive at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office from substations and officers in the field.

Ada County Sheriff's General Report
Ada County Sheriff’s General Hard Copy Report

The first step is to scan them into the Laserfiche repository. Scanning technicians do this using Laserfiche Scanning.

Laserfiche Scanning Ada County's General Report
Ada County’s General Report Scanned Into the Laserfiche Repository

During the scanning process, the tech selects the “Report Records Capture” template and manually enters the important metadata: DR Number (the identification number), Incident Type (based on the “Occurrence” field in the report), Organization, Date Reported and DocType. The Series/Box Number/Year field is optional and applies to report supplements that are received and scanned in after the initial report has been archived. The initial reports are stored by a DR Number sequentially in boxes and sent to the storage warehouse. New updates to reports are boxed separately before being sent to the warehouse and the Series/Box Number/Year field is utilized to track those individual files.

General report metadata
General Report Metadata Template

After scanning the report, the scanning tech sends it to the Route Files folder in the Laserfiche repository by clicking on the Store link. This triggers the Sheriff Workflow, described in detail in the next section.

Storing the Report Into the Document Repository
Storing the Report Into the Document Repository
Process the Report

All Laserfiche Workflows have Starting Rules—certain conditions that must be met to initiate a particular Workflow. The Starting Rules for the Sheriff Workflow are:

  • The document is associated with the “Records Report Capture” template.
  • The report path equals Route.
Ada County Sheriff's Departmental Report Workflow
Ada County Sheriff’s Departmental Report Workflow

Once these rules have been met, the Workflow is triggered. Here is the entire Workflow diagram, broken it down into the individual activities.

Ada County Sheriff's Report Workflow Diagram
Ada County Sheriff’s Report Workflow Diagram
Retrieve Field Values

In this step, field values from the “Records Report Capture” template are retrieved for use as tokens in the rest of the workflow.

Retrieving Field Values
Retrieving Field Values
Toolkit Script (VB.NET)

Next, to indicate that the electronic version of the document is just a copy they wrote a custom VB.NET script that adds a public stamp with the text “Copy” to the document. The original hard copy of the initial report and all the supplements are retained in their files (as required by each agency’s retention requirements).

VB.NET script
VB.NET Script
Move Entry

Now the document is moved from the Route Files folder into a new folder in the repository for storage. Tokens are used to determine where this report will be filed. The new file path is ‘OrganizationYearDR Number’. If these folders do not exist, then they are created. In order to extract only the year from the Date Reported field, they use regular expressions.

The first part is the token obtained from the Retrieve Field Values activity and the part after the “#” is the regular expression that specifies that only the year needs to be extracted.

Tokens are used to determine where this report will be filed.
Tokens are used to determine where this report will be filed.
Rename Entry

Next, the incident report document is renamed (DR Number – Doc Type) with tokens used to standardize the naming convention.

Standardizing the Naming Convention.
Standardizing the Naming Convention.
Routing Decision

Like most police agencies, they have records that involve employees, family members, and high-profile citizens and they did not want everyone in the department to be able to view those files. They use a Routing Decision activity to determine which of these type of files need additional security measures applied.

First branch:

  • Every police report has a DR Number automatically assigned. If the document has a DR Number that is equal to any of the below, then this branch will kick off. Future DR Numbers of reports that are deemed confidential can be added to this list by modifying the Condition section of the Routing Decision activity.
Applying Confidential Security Measures
Applying Confidential Security Measures
  • An Assign Tags activity assigns a Confidential tag to this document, preventing unauthorized users from viewing these reports. These tags are set up in the Laserfiche Administration Console. In the Console, they can also define which users can view specific tags. In this example, only supervisors and the records manager can view the documents with a Confidential tag.
Assigning Tags
Assigning Tags
  • Next, an e-mail activity notifies the records tech/project lead of the new confidential document. This enables the project lead to retrieve the paper original and store it securely.
e-mail activity
E-mail Activity

Second branch:

  • All non-confidential documents are processed through this branch. There are no additional processes within this branch.

Here is what the final incident report looks like when processed using the Sheriff Workflow. This police report was filed in the correct location based on the department, year and DR Number: ADA/ 2012 /12345. This report is not a confidential file, so no Confidential tag was needed.

Incident Report Filing Convention
Incident Report Filing Convention

The final incident report is processed using the Sheriff Workflow. This police report was filed in the correct location based on the department, year and DR Number: ADA/ 2012 /12345. This report is not a confidential file, so no Confidential tag was needed.

Sharing the Reports

If an officer in the field needs access to a report, he simply calls the office and an employee searches for the required report in Laserfiche by using the Field search. Once he finds the required document, he right-clicks on it and selects Send Document in E-mail. This generates a PDF copy of the report, which is e-mailed to the officer to view on his mobile device.

Our police department substations can also access these reports directly through Laserfiche Web Access.

 

Interested in learning how we can empower your agency to streamline your departmental records? Contact us today.

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