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Police Department Modernizing with Power DMS System

At its meeting on May 4, the City Council approved the purchase of a Power DMS system for the Sanford Police Department at an annual cost of $7,974.25, which includes periodic updates. The funds for the system will come out of the Department’s operating expenses in the 2021-2022 budget, and in future years would be included in the contract services budget.

Deputy Police Chief Craig Andersen explained that the system will help the Department better manage policies and training, and allow related documents to be more accessible to the public, providing greater transparency on police operations. It will also enable the Department to be accredited through the Maine Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (MLEAP). This will allow the City to save 15% on liability insurance (currently $3,300) for the Department. As the cost of liability insurance increases in future years, the discount will provide even greater savings.

The Power DMS system will also increase the Police Department’s efficiency by keeping all documents in a single location and by reducing time needed for document retrieval. Currently many of the Department’s documents are on paper, and retrieving copies requested under the Freedom of Information Act takes significant time. Tracking of these documents, and communications regarding them, will be streamlined by the system as well. A more efficient and transparent system is expected to help prevent and reduce loss in liability claims, and promote public confidence in the Department.

Councilor Luke Lanigan asked about an online crime reporting system that the Council approved a couple of years ago. DPC Andersen said the implementation of that system was delayed due to the pandemic, but that federal funds for it were finally approved last month. The implementation of that system will take several more months. Councilor Lanigan questioned if it was too much for the Department to be implementing two new systems at the same time. Deputy Chief Andersen said that Deputy Chief Tim Strout will be working with MLEAP and Power DMS, while Lieutenant Matthew Gagné of the criminal investigation division has been tasked with handling the online reporting system. He said there would be no difficulty in implementing both at the same time.

The Power DMS system was unanimously approved by the City Council’s Public Safety Subcommittee on April 13.

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