ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County law enforcement agencies are using a new system that will make it easier to share information. Rockford’s fire chief says they’ve already had success.
“Everyone is on the same platform, the same type of data is being entered in the same way for every single police agency in the entire county,” said Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten.
While it might not sound glamorous, law enforcement agencies’ records management systems can be life-saving.
“If you’re running investigations, if you’re trying to find information out about individuals that you have arrested or stopped and you need that intelligence information, data sharing is the way to go,” explained Derry Police Chief Garth Warner.
Thirteen agencies across the region now operate on the same RMS, enabling departments to share information across the board.
“Our system was nearing end of life, to where it wasn’t supported by the manufacturer for service and repairs and we had to upgrade to do the technology which allows a lot of new features,” said Chief Bergsten.
Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten says the upgrade was vital and is already working well for data entry.
“Because each department has certain needs from their records management system, it’s not a one size fits all,” Chief Garth Warner.
Across the country, agencies in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania attempted a similar community-wide system in 2015. Five years later, a number of departments have opted out. One police chief blames data transfer issues.
“As you search for information, it’s just pulling what you need out in the car or transmitting it back and forth but it doesn’t reside on the laptop in the car,” said Chief Warner.
It’s an obstacle that Stateline first responders are prepared to handle.
“Of course with any new technology it takes time to get used to it, we’re getting a lot of great feedback. Anyone that runs into any challenges should let us know so we can get those corrected,” said Chief Bergsten.