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The Solution to US Police Staff Shortages


The writing has been on the wall for some time, but the latest new articles concerning US law enforcement is not about defunding, it is instead about staff shortages of which we haven’t seen for some time.

National Public Radio (NPR) reports that, ‘Police didn’t get defunded but many large departments are shrinking.’ Although incidents in 2020 may have sparked conversations concerning the funding of the police, the root issue runs deeper than public opinion. In this article we will look into the reasons why there are less police officers serving, and what could solve this issue.

The problems the US police force are facing

In another article by Fox News, they reported that a rural community in California have been so heavily impacted by officer shortages, there will no longer be any daytime patrols. This is just one of many areas in the US that is experiencing a decrease in effectiveness of their local police department.

In the previously mentioned NPR report, Capt. Mike Glasser, the president of the Police Association of New Orleans (PANO), said that “We’re dealing with a 1,600-officer police department being operated by 900 officers.” These numbers are expected to decrease further if this issue isn’t resolved.

Glasser suggested that the reasons behind this decrease over two decades is from the financial incentives offered to officers to retire early, and moving officers to quieter departments in the suburbs.

To combat this nearly 50% decrease in the workforce, considerations have been made to employ civilians to perform less-risky duties like taking statements and investigating property crime.

However, in 2022 New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) promised to hire civilians for 50 new positions performing established police jobs. With plenty of eligible applicants, the department has named only three hires.

This begs the question, how can support be given to current police officers so they can use their time as effectively as possible?

Streamlining the investigation process with MeaConnexus

An officer’s duties can vary day-to-day, but investigation is a key component in solving cases and takes the time of many police department staff to perform and operate.

Fortunately, there is a tool which can drastically increase the efficiency of law enforcement investigations, whilst saving on travel costs and staff costs and increasing the quality of interview evidence. MeaConnexus, a secure remote video interview platform, was designed specifically to be used in investigation scenarios, especially victim, witness and voluntary suspect interviews.

Although there might be privacy and safety concerns if you use other, more popular remote video platforms, MeaConnexus uses the highest levels of publicly available encryption to protect the interview data, and employs Blockchain technology to create a sealed ‘digital evidence bag’ around the content of the interview to guarantee its authenticity. This enables users and external parties to validate the content of a video interview to demonstrate and ensure it has not been tampered with in any way.

Alongside its highly secure infrastructure, MeaConnexus hosts features that make the investigation process much simpler.

  1. Time coded automatic transcription – MeaConnexus converts each participants speech to text and presents the hosting organisation with a full transcript of the entire video interview, sequentially detailing who was speaking, what was said and at what time.
  2. Silent observers – Much like the two-way mirror used in interrogation rooms, a silent observer can watch the interviews without being detected by other users on the call.
  3. Bookmarking and annotation – This allows interviews or observers to detail key points through out the interview and enable the easy recall of evidence at any point in the future.
  4. Case management -– Recognising that investigations are largely undertaken by groups of individuals, MeaConnexus provides the ability for organisations to create groups of users that replicate their organisational structure. Group members can collaborate on the review and annotation of video interviews.

Effective investigations are just a click away

 With a background in digital policing and counter-terrorism, Issured always strive to streamline and develop tools to create an effective police workforce. MeaConnexus saves time for all parties, and reduces the cost of travel, personnel and office space.

Although Police Departments are decreasing in size, using MeaConnexus to host witness, victim and voluntary suspect interviews will enhance and modernise investigations while helping law enforcement to mitigate the increased demand on their services.

If you would like to see how MeaConnexus can be used in your department, get in touch with us to book a demonstration. Alternatively, you can find out more about MeaConnexus and its many other benefits and uses here