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As it looks to implement reforms required under a consent decree with the federal government, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) is in the midst of some software upgrades.
In recent months, the department detailed plans for technology that will improve its ability to track officer trainings and certifications, replace a nearly two-decade-old record management system and implement software that aims improve retention and wellness among officers.
Most recently, the department said it is adding training and compliance software from Bloomington, Indiana-based Envisage Technologies. The department will implement the Acadis Readiness Suite under a five-year contract costing $1.38M. According to BPD, this will help address the need for more training and de-escalation techniques under the consent decree signed by the city and the BPD to address the longstanding pattern and practice of violations of the first, fourth, and 14th amendments found by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Per a webpage with info on police tech released by the department (another consent decree requirement in itself), the Acadis software is a one-stop shop for monitoring and facilitating trainings in the police department. The program works as a portal for resource management information, such as facility capabilities and instructor availability. It also includes a utility to track records and registration. This will allow the BPD to track, monitor and deliver training for programs through one system.
“Training is a key element of supporting our officers in implementing sweeping reforms on use of force, community policing, and other critical topics,” Danny Murphy, the deputy commissioner of BPD’s compliance bureau, said in a statement issued Monday. “Acadis is a major building block in our effort to create a comprehensive digital ecosystem for the Baltimore Police Department. With this comprehensive software, we’ll be able to more effectively manage the complexities of our training and related compliance for our community.”
Earlier this summer, BPD also said it would introduce a new records management system. The Axon Records system will cost about $382K, funded through a grant from the National Crime Statistics Exchange. It will replace the department’s current 20-year-old record system. Axon is the same Scotsdale, Arizona-based company that is behind the department’s body-worn cameras. This system will integrate the body camera and video storage BPD uses from Axon. The goal is that the new system will improve BPD’s ability to audit and analyze decisions officers are making in the field.
The BPD is also spending $100,000 for a two-year license for software used by its human resources department. Made by Peakon, which has a U.S. base in New York, the off-the-shelf software, called “Engage,” is designed to facilitate the department’s development of a new employee retention plan as required under the consent decree, per the department. It will integrate with Workday, another cloud-based HR management system that will be used by both the police department and wider city government.
The license is funded by a grant from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, per the department.
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