Public safety agencies across the U.S. are turning to a new mobile app that gives first responders quick access to critical information such as photos of suspects or the floorplans of a burning building in critical moments.
Orlando-based PowerDMS offers cloud-based software that helps agencies streamline how they manage policies, procedures, and training. Until recently, users could access the software on desktop or laptop computers only. Now, the company’s new mobile app makes information even easier to access while in the field.
Agencies can upload a new policy or share information in a quickly evolving case and send it out. End-users, no matter where they are, can access the information via phone, sign off with a simple swipe or fingerprint, and perform a quick full-text search.
PowerDMS first launched the mobile app for iPhone six months ago and now has over 25,000 unique downloads. The Android version now follows with more features and upgrades developed through customer feedback.
With the mobile app, agency policies, procedures, and other content, are available at the touch of a screen, increasing the efficiency of how organizations communicate critical information and increasing accountability, the company says. Many agencies rely on computer terminals to access this information, meaning officers have to wait for their shift to end before checking a reference or reviewing training materials. The PowerDMS app allows agencies to upload content and send it out to everybody to access immediately on their phone.
The Cleveland, Tenn., Police Department has used the iOS app since its launch. “If we’re on a scene of a domestic incident or in-custody death, we can look up the information we need right away on our phones,” said Sgt. Evie West. “What is the protocol? What am I supposed to do next? Who am I supposed to notify? It’s all right there at our fingertips.”
The software can store all types of data and, for example, provide firefighters and police officers an updated look at the entrances, exits, stairways and points of risk for buildings on their phones. Before the mobile app, first responders needed access to a computer or had to refer to a binder in their vehicle filled with blueprints or photos, which might not be current.
Users can search for information quickly and accurately because the mobile app allows them to search for keywords within the document’s content, not just a title or a name. Now, when an officer needs to reference a policy on searching a vehicle for example, they need only search for the information they need, not the formal title or policy number. “We’re lowering the barrier of entry by focusing on the language our customers use when searching for content,” said Croy Bosch, vice president of product for PowerDMS. “You can conduct a search in milliseconds. Our customers do important, critical work. The ability to find needed information quickly can literally be a life-saver.”
The company says the app also offers the latest in security, with the option of the user’s fingerprint to sign in, along with acting as a signature to acknowledge the receipt of documents.
PowerDMS is web-based software that ensures officers are protecting themselves, their community, and their agency’s reputation by electronically delivering and tracking the policies and training they need to do their jobs. PowerDMS guarantees officers receive and understand this critical content, so supervisors can hold them accountable for their performance in the field and quickly prove compliance in the wake of an incident. The majority of its more than 2,500 customers are law enforcement agencies across the U.S.