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Spending $25 million On Police Overtime: Is It Worth It?

Following on from our latest article where we dove into the police shortage crisis in the USA, a recent news report by the San Francisco Chronicle details an additional $25 million is required to fund police overtime. Proposed by the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, this request comes amidst alarm by residents for their public safety and lack of support from the local police department.

Furthermore, a report published after the approval of this budget, written by the independent Budget and Legislative Analyst, alludes to drops in productivity of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Calling into question how law enforcement allocates its time.

In this article we will uncover the reasons for the approval of the $25 million budget, how the SFPD can be supported and what can be done to create more efficient and effective investigative processes in law enforcement departments and agencies.

How Did The Budget Get Approved?

According to the Chronicle article, ‘The department says it needs overtime because it’s grappling with the lowest number of officers in years and struggling to retain and recruit fast enough to fill vacancies.’

As discussed in our previous article, this issue isn’t local or regional, it’s instead a national concern.

Crossing state lines, recent news articles have reported that Arizona universities are collaborating to study police staff shortages in the state, allocating $800,000 towards the research.

Some of the most vocal advocates of the $25 million surplus are the residents and the business owners in San Francisco. The mayor said in a statement after the vote, “Now we need to continue our long-term work to address our police staffing shortage, including by pushing policies and investments to recruit and retain police officers.

Suggestions For The SFPD

According to police leadership in the SFPD, the decrease in productivity can be attributed to an overextended workforce and extra time spent performing administrative work due to change in policies.

In the report published by the Budget and Legislative Analyst, suggestions were made to hire more civilians to fulfil administrative work to reduce the need for overtime. The police could also redirect non-violent issues to other response units already specialised in handling these cases.

It has become apparent that more can be done to ensure that the police don’t overspend or extend their budget/workforce whilst other government departments are forced to make cutbacks. According to the report, the police budget has seen a $50 million increase from the previous year to $714 million, and yet more funding is still needed for overtime.

Save Time, Save Money – Introducing Mea: Connexus

As part of the way to help solve the challenge the SFPD and officials have found themselves in, they can look to streamline resource intensive parts of the investigative process using Mea: Connexus, a secure video interview platform. This software has the power to help transform police investigations for the better, reducing the time spent planning and organising in-person interviews. With Mea: Connexus you can perform witness, victim and voluntary suspect interviews remotely on any device with any browser. Thus eliminating the need to commit sworn officer and staff resource to travel long distances to conduct investigations or take statements and reduce the cost of doing so at the same time.

Mea: Connexus was designed and developed for law enforcement with security in mind. Along with its highest level of publicly available encryption, Mea: Connexus utilises Blockchain Technology to retain evidential integrity. Blockchain creates an unbreakable link between the data, therefore if anyone were to tamper with the evidence, you would be the first to know.

Here are just a few of the ways Mea: Connexus will improve your police investigations:

  • Improving the quality of evidence – Reduce the number of challenges on the integrity of information presented within a video interview or meeting, without having to rely on memory or information which could be falsified or challenged.
  • Reducing travel time and costs – Use time lost to travelling and being stuck in traffic, more efficiently, and eliminate any cost associated with travel simply by using our remote interview platform for witness, victim and voluntary suspect interviews.
  • Improving public perception and satisfaction – Provides people with the ability to engage and collaborate with you at a time and location that suits them. Officers can also spend more time taking statements, leaving the public feeling engaged, satisfied and supported.
  • Automatic transcription – Gone are the days of manually transcribing meetings or using 3rd party applications, with Mea: Connexus you can record meetings instantly and find out what was said, who said it and when it was said.

The platform is NIST and CJIS compliant, meaning that Mea: Connexus meets the cybersecurity needs of U.S. industry, federal agencies and the broader public, and ensures data security in law enforcement. Moreover, Mea: Connexus is securely hosted on MS Azure Government in the US, providing world-class security and compliance.

Get In Touch

If you are interested in Mea: Connexus, get in touch with us to book a demonstration, start a free trial or ask us any questions you may have about Mea: Connexus and its capabilities.

If you would like to find out more about Mea: Connexus, check out our page filled with additional features and an informative video.

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