The multi-tool for those who protect and serve
The city of Gillette, located in the northeast corner of Wyoming, is a small town with a big presence. A significant source of coal, oil, and natural gas, the city also boasts an array of outdoor activities and popular attractions such as Devils Tower National Monument. But as much as Gillette might look like a nostalgic slice of Americana, its Police Department demonstrates how embracing the latest voice tech innovations has helped them achieve greater efficiency and ease of use across the organization.
Driving the next phase of digital evolution
Like many modern law enforcement agencies, the Gillette Police Department was using a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, which typically includes a portfolio of software packages used for communicating with field resources as well as managing the related data (such as reports, interviews, and more). Their particular system, which had been in place since 2007, was shifting its photography and dictation applications to the cloud. Unfortunately, the dictation portion of the solution fell short of the officers’ needs. While it was possible to strictly record audio files, the lack of options for pausing, rewinding, insertions, overriding, and other key functions made it impractical for the realities of working in the field.
Further, the voice recorders the officers had been using for recording voice files were causing unnecessary obstacles. Because they were not fully mobile-enabled, officers had to return to the station to download interviews to a folder, that would then be shared with the Records department for assignment to transcription. And because the voice recorders were of varying models, inconsistencies in their recording format often resulted in extra administrative time to convert unreadable files.
Because the officers were going to receive department-issued smartphones to capture photographs per the new cloud-based system, it made sense to look for a mobile-enabled dictation solution to complement that capability. Lisa Barthel, who began her 30-year career with the Gillette Police Department in Dispatch and now serves as its Records Supervisor, is responsible for all the software the department uses and led the effort to find the right voice solution. “We’d been using a software tool that was more than 12 years old, and we were overdue for an upgrade,” she says, noting that while the impetus for the change was the CAD system, she knew there were process improvements they could achieve by leveraging new voice tools.
The program is extremely easy to use and user-friendly. I honestly wouldn’t change anything. The upload process and labeling are as easy as it gets.