The world as we know it has changed amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and the rapidly evolving economic climate. Public safety organizations are in the spotlight as they work tirelessly to oversee the welfare and protection of the general public. Many organizations have felt the need to take a look at their existing operations and determine whether or not they are running most effectively.
With more than 800 law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S., there are important internal affairs professionals within each of these agencies who are responsible for ensuring the highest standards of integrity among their officers and staff. They accomplish this through analyzing allegations and trends and conducting comprehensive investigations. With no shortage of work to do, legal affairs professionals are looking to technology to help solve some of the pressing challenges of today and prepare for those that will emerge in the future.
Luckily, technology already exists that can be easily leveraged to meet this need. Investigators and internal affairs officers, as well as public safety officers at universities and other state facilities can streamline productivity with a matter management platform that manages cases, litigated matters and personnel concerns. They can also manage public record requests, governance/policy issues and general advice files—all with one system—increasing productivity and giving professionals more time back in their day.
The Challenges Facing Public Safety Teams Today
With ever-increasing cases and reporting requirements by each state, public safety organizations are looking for better ways to pull important data on the fly in a centralized environment so they can stay focused on their greater mission of serving and protecting. Every organization wants to ensure that each legal matter is handled with the utmost attention and care. Here are a few of the challenges facing public safety departments today:
- Inefficient processes. A common challenge for many departments is the inability to pull together reports quickly to review cases and their status. Because of manual reporting processes in place, professionals are pulled away from more important tasks to focus on gathering data while valuable time and productivity is lost.
- Lack of organization. Many government agencies, including public safety departments, are not as efficient as they could be because of the lack of a centralized legal matter management system. With multiple legacy systems for managing cases and data, it’s hard to quickly access the information you need when you need it.
- Little visibility into tracking and reporting. It’s essential that internal affairs officers, investigators and other public safety professionals track incidents as they occur and report back to other departments they are accountable to, such as a governing board, citizen oversight committee or funding organizations. For instance, by tracking information like “use of force” for police officers, they are ensuring compliance with policies and accountability to its citizens. Without a legal matter management system in place, it is difficult and time consuming for departments to filter and pull reports so they can see where they stand in compliance with some of the most important issues that arise.
- Accessibility to data. Many departments today use manual, paper-based systems to document, track and manage incident and investigative data. All case data is then logged in an Excel spreadsheet for general statistical reporting of incidents and cases, wasting time and increasing the probability of human error. There is a pressing need to automate these manual processes to accurately document, manage and report investigative data. In addition, the old-school system of accessing data could be improved through the use of newer technologies such as mobile phones and iPads.
How Legal Matter Management Software Can Help
In a highly regulated industry that requires efficiency and scale, legal matter management software is the technology solution that public safety departments are looking for. By implementing this type of software, public safety organizations can expect greater oversight, superior workflow and productivity to handle an increased volume of work with the same number (or fewer) staff. Here are just a few of the ways legal matter management software is serving public safety professionals:
Centralized storage. A legal matter management platform has a place for everything, and it’s all stored in one place. That means one, central location for all information related to each case or matter, including contacts, documents, email and attachments, any type of image files, plus notes, alerts and reminders. Users can access vital information with the click of a button through a built-in summary link.
User-friendly interface and dashboard. With a dashboard concept, each user can pull a home page containing user-specific calendars, tasks, events and recently accessed files that provide a quick reference to files/cases, notifications/reminders and user activity, all from one window. With an automated notification system, you can establish recurring alerts for due dates or tasks and automatically inform users of ten different kinds of items on one screen, so important information this is yet to be resolved is quickly brought to their attention.
Anytime/anywhere access. With the ability to access your legal matter management platform from an iPad and iPhone, you gain an inside view into your cases anytime and anywhere. Gone are the days of disparate data systems and outdated Excel spreadsheets. Now, you can instantly get a glance at your important case-related information wherever you are.
Flexibility. It’s critical to have a system that can adjust to your changing environment and allows you to build an unlimited number of templates that correspond to the different types of cases or matters being handled. With the option to customize configurable templates, you can create a truly custom view of the case or matter based on the data requirements of each type.
Effectiveness. With visibility across all processes and enhanced collaboration, you can resolve matters in a more timely manner. Through features like task delegation, assignment tracking, team management and multiple location management, public safety professionals can get an inside look at what’s happening across all legal matters in just a few moments.
Enhanced reporting. It’s essential to be able to respond to current events and matters in a timely manner through enhanced reporting capabilities. With a real-time legal matter management system, you receive flexible reporting tools that export directly to Excel and enable you to query the latest data in numerous ways. Legal Files matter management software provides more than 90 standard reports and 25 management dashboard reports, allowing you to identify and address priority matters and litigation exposures. Additionally, through custom reports, you can effectively respond to your department’s unique and changing reporting needs, leaving you more prepared for any impromptu conversation that may arise.
Workflow automation. With the ability to automatically assign tasks and due dates to users based on their role in a file, you can increase productivity among your team and ensure that nothing will be forgotten. The legal matter management system assigns the tasks to the appropriate user in the file in one, simple step. Once the action items are populated in the system, they are linked together—ensuring the user is notified of any changes that are made in real-time.
Trust and security. The security of your documents is crucial, especially in legal matters. With built-in security, you can restrict or grant security privileges on multiple levels, including role, group and by individual files. This level of security enables users to be granted permission to update and edit features and functions of legal files.
Legal Files is Dedicated to Serving You
We at Legal Files want to help you during this uncertain time and value the work you are doing to protect our communities. With superior technology, we can serve you and help alleviate some of the challenges of your day-to-day operations.
By implementing a legal matter management system, you’ll not only improve your operations and workflow but also empower your public safety and internal affairs professionals to do what they do best: serve and protect.
We’re here and ready to support you however you need. Our sales staff is ready and able to take your questions via phone or email.