How to use ARMS to improve focus on community engagement
2 MIN. READ
ARMS software offers multiple features that can improve your police department’s community engagement outreach and impact and foster trust between officers and the public they serve.
Many clients have been using ARMS for 15-20 years, and for good reason. The range of features, from staples such as computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records management, to unique modern features such as event tracking, help ARMS stand out from other software systems.
Using ARMS for event tracking
ARMS’s event tracking capability can do wonders in terms of community engagement. Use this feature to schedule specific times that the officers will spend time with the public, improving visibility in the community, and build stronger relationships with citizens.
A tracking feature enables the event you create to go right into the CAD. This way, the officers get automatically assigned time to focus on community engagement, and other scheduling conflicts cannot get in the way. The dispatcher does not need to receive separate notification about any community events, as that information will already be within the CAD’s data.
For example, the University of Mississippi uses ARMS event tracking for community engagement events, such as their Coffee with Cop sessions. As a result, the university’s students, staff, and community members feel more connected to their police department. Coffee with a Cop gets automatically scheduled via ARMS Event Tracking, so it appears in the CAD system. As such, the appropriate time is always blocked off in the appropriate officer’s schedule, preventing any conflicts from the dispatcher.
Supplement ARMS with engaging tweets
Take the community engagement elements of ARMS and supplement these with other methods. Depending on your current procedures and policies, you could connect with the community via Twitter and tweet information about community events, vehicle accidents, and areas with heavy traffic. Through ARMS Twitter integration, the department can automate the process that these tweets are created and shared. You can also use Twitter to share information related to crimes criminal activity in a particular area, neighborhood, or region.
Improving transparency, trust, and engagement
Transparency among members of the community and the police department will help will foster trust and engagement with your officers. These connections encourage the public to approach your personnel with issues and provide assistance when necessary.
One key step towards transparency is to ensure that your department’s policies are available for public viewing. You should also post information regarding reported crime, summonses, stops, and arrests.
If a serious incident occurs, be open with the community and do so promptly. Find the balance between confidentiality based on the law and sharing information the public needs and has a right to know. At the very least, address the issue and work with the media and community to prevent the spread of misinformation.
On-campus, the ARMS Mobile Suite enables the officers to remain in the field, giving them the opportunity to engage with the community. There is no need for them to return to the office to file reports. They can do so while interacting with the community.