Client’s Challenge: A Police Department Assessment Reveals Opportunities to Improve IT

Hillard Heintze had just completed an independent assessment of this Midwestern municipality’s police department. The assessors found that while the community’s government and police agency had invested heavily in technology for police services, challenges remained in areas such as strategic planning, technology leadership, training, IT support, vendor accountability, information sharing and 24×7 support.

As one of five technology-related recommendations, Hillard Heintze advised the municipality and its police department to develop a Strategic Information Technology Plan for a three-to-five year period, supported by an annual Tactical Plan, which delineated the actions required to achieve the organization’s established IT goals.

Our Solution: Police Department IT Plan Priorities

The community’s elected leaders recognized the importance of such a plan to align IT with the department’s core mission, operations and functions – and engaged the firm to develop it. Hillard Heintze’s experts in policing, public safety, IT, information sharing and organizational process design collaborated over several weeks to craft a plan that addressed six vital areas.

These included (1) governance – both internal by establishing an IT Governance Committee and external through collaboration and information sharing with select third-party organizations; (2) leadership – and the qualifications and responsibilities associated with setting up a new IT Deputy Director position; (3) enterprise architecture (EA) – establishment of the overall organization and adoption of standard hardware and software for network, server, storage, security and user devices; (4) portfolio management, a detailed IT inventory and a careful gap analysis against the EA; (5) training – and the value of having an IT subject matter expert develop and deliver timely end-user training rather than relying on police trainers to deliver technical training they do not fully understand; and (6) end-user support and its critical importance to officers charged with making life-saving decisions – for citizens as well as themselves on a regular basis.

Impact on the Client: A Tremendous Technological Boost for the Department

It’s too early to evaluate the full impact of this plan on the department’s operations. But given the original state of the agency’s technology infrastructure, the impacts – even within the first year of implementation – are expected to be transformational.

Unplugged: The Perspective of Hillard Heintze’s CEO

“This was a very satisfying project. We took care to ensure that the plan clearly defined the goals, resources, timeline, metrics and benchmarks necessary for the agency to target and capture some of the most strategic and highest value IT-related priorities over a rapid 36-month period.

These related to a key new IT position, IT training, information sharing and data integrity, vendor management and, of course, strategic coordination and planning.

Most importantly, it clearly showed that even when an agency buys the best technology for its employees, inadequate implementation can turn it into a poor investment.”

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