Police departments that conduct field interviews the old-school way, by filling out and submitting hand-written notecards, can now deploy a new mobile and web-based solution that streamlines and digitizes the field interview process from end to end, boosting their analytical capabilities and saving thousands of labor hours per year (and countless trees) in the bargain.
Haystax Technology’s Constellation for Field Interview has now reached full operational capability, giving patrol officers the means to submit ‘FI’ reports straight from the field on their mobile devices and giving officers and command staff a web-based capability to instantaneously view, analyze and generate summary reports on aggregated FI data.
Field interviews are critical sources of information on suspicious persons and vehicles, often providing the earliest indications of criminal or terrorist activity. Patrol officers equipped with the mobile app simply enter relevant information and click ‘Submit,’ whereupon the entry is instantaneously synced and available across the department.
A police department can seamlessly integrate field interview capabilities with its existing Constellation for Converged Security domain awareness solution, or use it as a standalone tool. Gone are the days of waiting for FI cards to be entered into a database, potentially hindering active investigations or identification of suspected criminals and terrorists.
All FI entries, regardless of their origin, can be viewed, edited, tagged and updated as new information becomes available. Moreover, they are viewable, sortable and searchable by other members of the department, resulting in increased information sharing and efficiency. Innovations like tagging enable departments to quickly group and organize multiple field interviews. For example five interviews collected by five separate officers, which all refer to members of the same street gang, can easily be linked. During analysis and reporting of the gang’s activities, all five individuals’ information will be included. In another case, simply searching on ‘white Dodge pickup truck’ (or its license plate number) can bring up multiple FIs, helping law enforcement officials track the whereabouts and favored routes of the vehicle.
Constellation for Field Interview enables visibility into past incidents, repeat offenders and other data of potential relevance. Officers in the field also can upload photos for additional background related to an incident, be it a vehicle, face, tattoo or signs of suspicious activity. And because the system automatically geo-tags and time-stamps each FI report, the exact location and time of all entries are known and recorded.
The labor cost savings from this technologically advanced but simple-to-use FI process are significant. Thousands of man-hours spent filling out, submitting, filing and storing all those cumbersome paper cards are no longer needed. Delays or mistakes due to illegible handwriting or rekeying errors also are eliminated.
Most importantly, Constellation for Field Interview empowers the department to glean better intelligence, faster than what could be accomplished by retrieving a handful of FI cards from a dusty file cabinet or rummaging through officers’ desk drawers.
Finally, because Haystax Constellation is cloud-based, commanders, investigators and other authorized users can securely access all individual FI records, aggregated reports and map-based data — anywhere at any time on their smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops.
The net result for law enforcement officials, both in the field and in command centers, is improved domain awareness that would be nearly impossible relying on paper-based and non mobile-enabled systems. This enhanced awareness helps departments make quicker connections between incidents and stay ahead of high-risk situations.