07/22/2010

Lindsey J. BertomenPolice Products
with Lindsey J. Bertomen

Products Review: DocView and Rosetta Stone

This month’s focus is software but I have to exercise a little literary license here. Rosetta Stone, the well-known language learning company, is the second part of this article. Their product is definitely software. DocView is an e commerce product, but technically it too is software. It just doesn’t come in a shrink-wrapped package.

Both DocView and the new TOTALe from Rosetta Stone are products that will benefit agencies in a very tangible way.

E-commerce is a means of conducting business electronically. DocView provides law enforcement agencies with a solution to managing and selling reports at no cost to the agency. Basically, it turns a Department’s accident and crime report inventory into electronic documents. They provide a portal to sell these reports to insurance companies, citizens, or any other entity the agency wishes.

To put it succinctly, DocView is brilliant. It offers a turnkey solution for agencies without startup or operating fees. Most agencies report that the hassle of document printing and searching is reduced or eliminated. On top of that, they receive a monthly check from DocView.

Here’s how it works: An agency contracts with Docview as a subscriber. They are provided business cards from the agency for customers with the address to the DocView portal. When a citizen needs a report, they access the portal. The citizen pays the report access fee plus the DocView convenience fee, which is currently $6. The report is delivered to the citizen electronically, using a web-based portal. DocView pays the agency their normal report access fee. The agency benefits because they still receive their report fee without even handling the report. If the agency desires, they can still handle customer requests at the counter.

I interviewed Steve Person, DocView’s sales director about their product. Steve has 25 years in the law enforcement industry and he just recently announced his retirement as a lieutenant in the Lansing, Michigan Police Department.

Steve told me that his agency had huge volumes of information in the records Department. He and managing partner Dan Puuri, also retired from Lansing PD, were brainstorming about making the records more searchable and accessible. DocView was a natural fit for their needs of the agency and as a convenience for records customers.

DocView has partnered with CARFAX since 2005. CARFAX is a vehicle history service which provides historical information about used vehicles. The partnership is a win-win collaboration. DocView is a means of providing accurate, timely, and complete information. CARFAX customers benefit from data coming directly from the source.

I asked Person what DocView does to prevent collision reports from being delivered to the wrong hands. Some states have laws which require a requester to a report to be a party to the incident. Person told me that DocView does business in 30 different states. He told me that customers must know the unique 9-12 digit report number, the date of the incident and the name of the agency in order to complete their request. They must also digitally sign a disclaimer.

Moving Bits of Data Quickly and Securely
Probably the greatest benefit to DocView is the data sharing. Insurance adjusters can get their reports from agencies that write electronic reports the same day. The information is browser-based, which allows the ability for officers to access full traffic incident reports from their agency and partner agencies in the patrol car. DocView also maintains a database of who inquires or purchases a report. This can generate investigative leads. They have several other tools that can generate investigative leads which won’t be mentioned here.

However, I was given a description and recommend that the agency contacts someone from the DocView staff directly. DocView shares this information with investigative law enforcement agencies. They have over 1000 insurance agency subscribers. Their data is generally 128 bit encrypted with 256 bit capability, if necessary. They have standard server redundancy for data protection. Over 400 agencies currently subscribe to DocView.

How does an agency get started? First, doc view can accept any type of archived data. They can take any image from any RMS. If the agency has only paper records, DocView can provide the scanner in order to upload the information. They will help an agency created an efficient means of storing their records.

DocView allowed me to access and view a sample database, agency view. The first thing I noticed was how current the reports database was. Some agencies had scanned handwritten reports. Others used standard collision reporting software. One could do a database search in several ways. The obvious advantage here was the fact that several allied agency subscribers were included in the accessible reports.

Dana Muir from Turlock Police told me that they have been using DocView for a little more than a year. They had been scanning their reports since 2007, which Dana attributes to a member of their IT staff who, fortunately, foresaw the need.

Muir told me that part of the security of the system is the fact that the report requested must match the number given to the insurance agent or citizen. This seems to work just fine.

They reported only the usual hiccups of transferring reports over and insuring that report numbers matched up. Like every agency in the nation, their biggest hurdle is personnel shortages, necessary for infrastructure. If anything, DocView can help.

DocView is a money- and time-saver. Their e-commerce solution is original and provides a necessary service where both the customer and agency benefits.

Speaking the Same Language
If one were to poll cultural leaders in any community, one would discover that one of the keys to police/community relations is language. I’m not talking about making every officer multilingual. If an officer learns a few phrases in a local cultural pocket, even if the pronunciation is rudimentary, it can go a long way towards demonstrating a genuine interest in the community. As one representative of a local community explained to me, language is the window to culture.

I tested Rosetta Stone’s TOTALe language learning product and I found that this is the best language learning system I have experienced (Editor’s Note: Okay folks, how often does Lindsey use superlatives like “best”? Right. Not often.).

The new TOTALe product is a multisensory, multi-learning method of teaching language through asynchronous methods they (appropriately) call Dynamic Immersion. Everyone knows that immersion is the most successful way to learn a language. Immersion is a method where the learner totally integrates the language into their daily life. Most governments train their language learners by putting them in an environment of the language and culture, often with other language learners. They are exposed to the desired language only, integrating visual, auditory and social intercourse in the process.

Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion uses their learning portal to create a learning environment where learners connect for practice and play sessions. They back the process up with Audio Companion, the traditional audio learning recordings which reinforce what the student acquired in the Rosetta Course.

About the author

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Online Teaching and Learning. Lindsey has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. His articles on firearms tactics have appeared in print for over a decade. Lindsey enjoys competing in shooting sports, running, and cycling events.

Contact Lindsey Bertomen

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