Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Coast to coast host

We use gotomeeting.com around  here to conduct our shift assemblies (what we call lineup) at the various times during the day when officers are coming on duty.  Web conferencing is ideal for getting everyone on the same page (well, the same screen) about current events.  Gotomeeting, though, has some other nice benefits for us, and last week was a good example.

I was contacted by a crime analyst at the Howard County (Maryland) Police Department who had been referred to LPD. He was interested in our geographic crime analysis process and software. Rather than just talking to him, I fired up gotomeeting, and brought him to my desktop for a little demo on Tuesday morning.  I think he was surprised not only by our GIS work, but by the logic that underlies our entire information system.

The following day was our regularly scheduled ACUDAT meeting.  A crime analyst from the King County(Oregon Washington) Sheriff's Office had contacted me a couple weeks ago about that.  She had been referred by someone who had told her about our process.  We exchanged a couple of emails, and I ultimately just invited her to attend our next meeting remotely. So on Wednesday, Cynthia participated in our meeting from 1,800 miles away. 

Over a two day period we had site visits from both coasts, one from an agency about our size (Howard County Police), the other from an agency much larger (King County Sheriff).  No travel was involved, and everyone got the information they sought.  That's a pretty efficient way of doing business.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think this one should be nominated for most uninteresting of the year award.

Anonymous said...

Chief,
Yes that is a very good way to increase the efficiency of doing business and cut costs. However most folks in management enjoy the perk of going to exotic locales on the company dime. You might get a few of them mad at you if you upset the applecart.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

Chief-We use gotomeeting and others to conduct webinars for training all the time. Great resources.

We also have training meetings in person a couple times a year because the personal interaction before, after, and during the meetings are where we get some of our best ideas and the internet meetings seem to limit some of the feedback and questions. But then again, our people are spread out throughout the country and it's pretty costly and not very efficient to get them in one spot.

The internet services available sure improve efficiency. Beats a mimeographed "Hot Sheet", a one-channel Motorola and a call box.

256

Tom Casady said...

7:58 -

Nah, I've been much duller than this. Sometimes I even bore myself.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone will disagree LPD has top notch crime analysis and access to good crime stat information.

You talk about how other departments come here to see our crime stat capabilities. Have you thought about going to other departments to get some ideas about how to change things to boost morale?

Maybe there is a department using report software that doesn't require quadruplicate work for a simple misdemeanor arrest with a lodge. Or maybe you'd find some better MDT software that does more than show the dispatched call.

Trina said...

King County (Washington), right, Chief?

Tom Casady said...

Trina,

Yes, your nec k of the woods.

Tom Casady said...

2:04-

You got something in mind? I'm all ears.

Watchful said...

Here I was all poised to pounce on you for not checking the creditentals of this King County Oregon Police agency you shared "trade secrets" with. Trina beat me to it, since there is no King County in Oregon.

At least you got the link right. :)

Gotomeeting has always been a good time saving resource and it seems you are taking full advantage of it in Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

I bet you could use gotomeeting for case consultation or forensic consultation meetings (with outside experts or law enforcement) - kind of a police version of the state's Teleheath network. Thoughts, Chief?

Jerry Ratcliffe said...

So how much does it cost, Tom?

Tom Casady said...

Jerry-

$49/month, with a 20% discount for a one year subscription. We started this in 2005, and I just put the $468 on my credit card every December, since you can only buy it online, and (oddly) the City of Lincoln can't do business with credit cards.

Eumatthe said...

Chief, unlike the first 'Anonymous' post - I disagree and see GoToMeeting as a "Leap" in the right direction, I'm not suggesting we get all Dick Tracy, but if this flavor of technology can be expanded into say Mobile Vehicle systems, imagine how much more rapidly investigators, detectives and crime analysts could get alerted to new incidents!
It must be nice to be on the cutting edge - keep up the good work!