By Katy Sword, Columbian staff writer
Published: November 13, 2017, 6:01 AM
The Vancouver Police Department is in the market for a new software program.
Known as a records management system, the program in question manages police reports, police-related public records requests and court documents related to the department.
Vancouver is currently part of the Regional Justice Information Network, a 43-agency consortium that also includes the Portland Police Bureau. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office left the group last year, leaving Vancouver as the sole Washington contributor.
The sheriff’s office withdrew from the program less than a year after it joined the group, citing extensive problems with the software. The city has experienced those issues, too, and could join the agencies that have left the association.
Remaining with the consortium is an issue also because it limits communication between local agencies, Vancouver Assistant Police Chief Chris Sutter said. Vancouver is looking for a new system to share information regionally, “because we know crime knows no bounds or jurisdictions,” Sutter said.
“In part, having a large consortium of agencies is a great advantage, because you have more easily shared information between agencies, but it can also be harder to effect change on a system when there’s so many different stakeholders involved,” he said.
To find a new system, the city is contracting with a Florida-based consultant, PRI Management Group.
“We’ve hired a consultant to help guide us through the needs assessment, RFP (request for proposal) and to help guide the police department while bringing in their national expertise in police records management projects,” Sutter said.