The Columbus Police Department is in the process of adapting a new records management system. The Police Department said the system will take the paperwork out of police work.
As it stands now, when a Columbus Police Officer compiles an incident report, it's all done by hand. The reports are then retyped into a data-base, not accessible to the officers on the street.
"The whole point of this system is to make sure that everyone who needs the information has it at their fingertips, via the computer," said Major Stan Swiney, the officer overseeing the project for the department.
He said that under the new system officers will be able to directly file their report while still patrolling the streets. Every patrol car is currently equipped with a laptop; but they are used mainly for dispatch. The new software system will be loaded directly on the existing computers.
"They can put in an address and see all previous police contact at that address, wether it is people or events or vehicles or anything like that," said Major Swiney.
He added that in the future, the system will also be a valuable tool for citizens.
"To some extent we will be able to put crime statistics back out over the Internet to give people an idea of what they're doing."
Major Swiney said the system has been a topic of conversation in the department for years, but budget limitations have prevented it's purchase, until now.
"Its going to take a significant amount of man hours, and its one of those major projects like a computer aided dispatch program or courts software that you have to take your time and do correctly because its such a critical application," added Major Swiney.
The software is slated to cost $2.5 million and is funded from the city's general fund.
The department said work is expected to begin soon and the full system should be up and running in 18 months.