Mayor uses technology to keep more police on the streets each shift
August 7, 2007
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has implemented an aggressive timetable to fully implement the Automated Police Reporting System (A.P.R.S.) to put more cops on the streets and increase efficiencies in government.
Starting August 1 and ending September 1, police officers will be required to submit all police reports via the A.P.R.S. This one month trial is to solidify the software design in preparation for full implementation in the fall.
"I am working hard to find creative ways to increase the number of foot patrols in our neighborhoods. Mandating the use of A.P.R.S. technology achieves both goals without costing taxpayer dollars in overtime or new hires," Mayor Ravenstahl said.
Until now, officers had to return to the station to write reports. The A.P.R.S. software application enables officers to submit reports from their vehicle's Mobile Data Terminals (MDT), saving countless hours of administrative work.
"This will allow our officers to spend more time patrolling our neighborhoods and keeping our streets safe," said the mayor.
The amount of time saved is expected to be exponential as officers spend approximately 10 percent of their work day filing reports at the police station. Carnegie Mellon University will be conducting a study to analyze time saved with A.P.R.S.
"by decreasing the amount of time police officers expend writing reports, we expand their ability to interact with the public, thereby increasing productivity, " said Police Chief Nate Harper.
In addition to increasing police visibility, A.P.R.S. technology is saving taxpayer dollars. Last year the Bureau of Police generated over 277,000 police reports, an administrative feat achieved with overtime pay and by hiring a part time Telephone Reporting Unit to assist with report writing.
With this initiative, Pittsburgh will be brought into the forefront of police technology. Less than two percent of cities have this technology, and those that do paid upwards of $1 million to design, implement and upgrade the software. The city developed the A.P.R.S. software in-house by working with a team of specialists, B Three Solutions, Inc., for $150,000.
"By opting to do more with less we saved taxpayers more than three quarters of a million dollars," said the mayor.
"Being a local firm, it's gratifying to see this project have such a positive impact for the residents of Pittsburgh. Building upon our long-term working relationship with the professionals in City Information Systems (CIS), it was a pleasure to work with the City to develop this software. Our teamwork with CIS on this project produced a cost-effective solution and a substantial savings for the taxpayers," Michael Walton, President of B Three Solutions stated.
In February 2007, Mayor Ravenstahl and Chief Harper increased the number of MDTs in police vehicles by 40 percent. Currently, 90 percent of police vehicles have MDTs and the mayor hopes to bring this number to 100% as older vehicles are replaced.