The Hennepin County (MN) Sheriff's Office has over 100 civilian volunteers who donate their time to provide valuable public safety duties. Each member is required to work at least 16 hours per month. Last year this special deputy group volunteered 25,000 hours. It is a great feat - but also a huge challenge to schedule those hours across 100 people.
"Prior to using Aladtec, we used a homegrown SharePoint site. We had several issues with it, including it was just too complex for us to do what we needed. And, we had issues with the hosting company - they were raising their rates again, they offered no support, no training, and anything you wanted from them was billed per hour," explains Michael Hubred, Special Deputy Lt., Volunteer Services Division, Patrol Support, with the Hennepin County (MN) Sheriff's Office.
Hubred says they looked at several volunteer scheduling solutions but they were targeted to the casual volunteer group. This division is considered an "extreme volunteer" organization consisting of people who put in numerous hours per month. They needed a robust shift scheduling system that included other valuable features.
"One of the must haves for our new scheduling system was it had to be designed for public safety. Aladtec was the only solution we found that met that requirement," indicates Hubred. "One of the other selling points of Aladtec for us is the free support and free application updates."
The Hennepin County Volunteer Services Division have found that a number of Aladtec features contribute to successfully managing their large group, including shift reminders, coverage finder, the library, and the discussions feature.
"We really enjoy the shift reminder. It automatically reminds all of my special deputies of a shift or event they've signed up for. We value the coverage finder too, several times we need to find staffing for an event. We easily send out the notification by clicking a button - it's so much better than sending out customized emails," shares Hubred. "One of the big selling points of the Aladtec application, was the library feature and the discussion groups. With the large special deputy group we have, we now have libraries of information available to everyone within the Aladtec system and it's accessible anywhere. We are using the discussion feature to allow our special deputies to discuss topics amongst themselves. Topics may include training, equipment issues, shift topics, etc. You name it, we discuss it!"
In closing, Hubred adds, "One of the big comments I heard from all the special deputies after we went live with Aladtec, was "We should've done this years ago!" I highly recommend Aladtec to any public safety agency."
About Hennepin County Sheriff Volunteer Unit: This division is comprised of a group of special deputies commissioned to provide volunteer services for the Sheriff's Office. They have four unique groups of volunteers, including: water patrol support; patrol support; a community response team; and the mounted patrol. Their dedicated service helps to enhance the community outreach efforts of the Sheriff's Office. They provide safety education and are an important part of the emergency preparedness. In the event of a large scale emergency, the Special Deputies are ready to assist and serve.
For more information, visit www.aladtec.com.