Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), an agency created to ensure public safety through compliance with licensing regulations, was honored with the 2021 “Innovative Alcohol Law Enforcement Program of the Year” Award from the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA). Innovative use of body-worn cameras, paperless inspections using iPads, and drone surveillance for alcohol law enforcement contributed to the agency’s recognition for the award.
The agency’s use of the Laserfiche Mobile App to capture information in the field was a key reason for the award, according to Angela Wetherelt, an ABC licensing specialist.
“The combination of technology and process improvements led to this industry recognition,” she explained. “We’ve implemented wireless premises and building inspections, and our covert surveillance technology increased substantially last year.”
Angela noted Laserfiche saves their detectives five to 10 minutes per interaction, which is a big win.
“Time management and making them more efficient is important, which results in better customer service on inspections. If we do an inspection, the system emails the business owner immediately about that inspection; that’s big,” she continued.
The conversion to Laserfiche started five years ago strictly as an archiving tool. In Idaho, all the liquor licensing information must be housed at the Historical Society – on paper. With Laserfiche, there would still be paper records, but the plan was to have everything scanned for easy access and much better customer service. Two years later, over 200 boxes of records had been scanned, and the transition was complete.
Toward the end of the project, the team started asking what other uses they may have for Laserfiche. The first idea was to help manage the large amount of data resulting from thousands of site inspections each year.
“Our detectives would return with stacks of handwritten paper and give them to the licensing specialist,” Angela shared. “The new electronic inspection form lets the detectives use an iPad and, voila, next thing you know, it went into the repository and our licensing program. Plus, it emailed the licensee, so we are done as soon as the detective hits the submit button. And it was so quick. No more paper. It was just amazing.”
Another successful application is the online renewal of more than 1,000 beverage licenses in the state. “The license holders absolutely love it,” Angela said. “I would say 95 percent of them are on board. We’ve heard nothing but good things.”
She also expressed that a great next step would be implementing Laserfiche in their financial services area. “We have some contracts and grants to manage, and they would like to take advantage of the forms.”
What is Angela’s advice for others exploring ways to implement Laserfiche? “To make that transition, I was once told, ‘If you can dream it, Laserfiche can do it.’ And that’s what led me to brainstorm and push the button on all the different forms for the licensing specialists to make their jobs easier. I encourage a brainstorming process and let your minds run wild. Understand that in the end, it will be a much better process – unlike anything they know now. Just go for it.”
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