By Greg Bogosian
The following is paid content from Appriss
One of the most common challenges facing law enforcement agencies, especially in the modern era of reduced budgets and the “less with more” mentality, is how to handle traffic collision reporting and analysis while remaining compliant with Federal and State data collection and submission requirements. Most often, this results in at least one staff member assigned full-time to a traffic division simply to handle all of the requests which come in from citizens involved in the collisions, insurance carriers looking for reports, and the like. Other staff are likely assigned to handle the compilation and submission of these reports to state agencies in order to identify and maintain statistical information on the incidence and types of collisions within a given jurisdiction, while still others may be assigned to the actual maintenance of those records internally as they come in.
Fortunately, however, there is now a no-cost, no-overhead solution available to agencies which will allow them to not only handle all of these functions with ease through a user-friendly, common interface, but make readily available to them data which until now was difficult and very time-consuming to obtain when it comes to proactive identification of common hazard areas which are seeing frequent collisions. Collision Reporting Solutions, by Appriss®, is a state-level software solution which is provided free of charge to state and local law enforcement, and state reporting agencies, which provides a common data structure from the moment a collision is entered in by the reporting officer or agent, through the approval by a supervisor, and then, within 24 hours of that approval, direct reporting to the state overseeing agency via a centralized collision database.
For those of us who have worked in the field, the advantages of such a system are pretty clear. Oftentimes, incompatible or non-automated data-entry and –collection systems on collisions mean a fairly heavy time commitment on the part of anyone involved with the process. Collision Reporting Solutions provided application software presents a cleanly-designed, easy-to-learn interface to all who use it, with included, intuitive diagrammatic functionality and well-defined templates of data fields (including location, narrative, and other common elements) that are customized on a statewide level to the information required by state regulations. Once the individual officer or agent has submitted their initial report for approval by a supervisor, the supervisor can review and approve the report (or release it back to the individual for amendment or correction) with ease – once approved, the report is automatically submitted directly to the state database, with no other intervening steps required.
The benefits of this are many-fold. First, it allows law enforcement agencies to reassign those individuals who had to spend so much time on processing and distributing reports to other areas of operation in which the agency has personnel needs, better allocating their resources without incurring additional costs. Since the cost of the Appriss software solution is paid for by convenience fees who requisition collision reports directly through Appriss themselves, the overhead cost of not only distributing reports to those involved parties, insurance carriers and others, but also related expenses is eliminated (note: agencies may also collect a fee for this type of transaction through Appriss, providing a no-overhead revenue source).
Secondly, by having normalized, clean, and compatible data on a statewide level, Collision Reporting Solutions allows for ready identification of “problem” areas in need of further intervention to protect the safety of the motoring public. In Hendricks County, Indiana, for example, Col. Steve Wagner of the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office says that one particular trouble intersection was quickly identified by the Appriss system as having an inordinately high number of collisions. As a result, county government decided to install two additional stop signs at the intersection, which led, in Col. Wagner’s words, to a result that “the crashes have practically come to a halt.”
Lastly, and perhaps most significantly in terms of operational efficiency, the Collision Reporting Solutions system allows law enforcement officers to enter in collision information directly at the scene, saving time throughout the entire process of reporting, and minimizing unavailability-of-resource time during a given shift – ever more important in an era of decreased staffing and increasing population bases.
With 5 states and over 3,000 individual agencies now utilizing the Collision Reporting Solutions system, Appriss has shown themselves to be a reliable partner with a vetted, field-proven solution to centralizing a very time- and resource-intensive problem. The CJIS-compliant company itself provides a rock-solid infrastructure, as they serve as the backup for the NLETS system and host of the TDEX system in Texas, and bears all risk when it comes to hosting and management of the system. What that means for agencies is something which is the ideal in modern government administration: better services combined with cost reduction and elimination, while at the same time enablement of access to data which better protects those under their jurisdiction.
For more information, send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org today.