Law Enforcement Needs an Asset Management Solution
Law enforcement officers depend on information technology (IT) fixed assets to do their jobs – from radios, tablets and laptop computers to smartphones, cameras and more. An asset management solution allows police departments to track, monitor and maintain the IT assets on which their employees depend, get more mileage out of these items, and keep officers safe.
In April, the Brookings Institute released a report entitled “How COVID-19 is changing law enforcement practices by police and by criminal groups.” Author Vanda Felbab-Brown explains how global pandemic-related lockdowns had led to disbursement of police officers and other law enforcement officers from rural areas into cities. The reason for this shift, she said, is that larger, more densely populated areas need additional coverage to ensure that residents are complying with stay-at-home directives. Rural areas, then, may be more vulnerable to crime, especially at a time when so many areas of the world are under economic strain. This is a dismal outlook to be sure, and there’s an additional underlying issue here that Felbab-Brown doesn’t address.
Whether law enforcement officers are in urban areas, rural areas, or somewhere in between, many of them are stretched thin now for various reasons – fewer officers on hand, higher crime rates, reduced budgets or some other factor. At the very least, officers should be able to trust that the law enforcement IT assets on which they depend to serve their communities are functional and properly maintained. A police officer who encounters a potentially dangerous situation and who needs to call for backup shouldn’t have to discover at that inopportune moment that their radio isn’t working.
An asset management solution gives them that assurance along with a host of benefits that enable police departments to operate efficiently, curb waste and loss and protect the investment they’ve made in their technology. Attaching a unique barcode to each IT fixed asset allows busy departments to track the movement of each of these items and gives staff access to such pertinent details as an item’s check-in/check-out status, warranty, insurance policy, maintenance schedule and comprehensive maintenance history. In the rush that so often accompanies the job, it’s easy for IT assets to be misplaced and for staff to forget where they left them. An asset management solution eliminates the frustrating practices of retracing one’s steps and/or making phone calls to find lost items. Using a mobile app downloaded to their smartphones – or via a web app from the office – staff can pinpoint the exact location of any item and minimize disruption to their shift productivity. Departments may also use an asset management system to require officers that end their respective shifts by accounting for all IT assets and adding their electronic signature for validation.
Keeping up with the maintenance of their IT assets can be a challenge when police departments are being confronted with so many issues that require their immediate attention. An asset management solution keeps maintenance schedules top of mind by allowing users to set up custom reminders. They can also create work orders for any IT asset straight from the app on their smartphones if they wish. By storing comprehensive IT asset information in a single location, an asset management solution allows users to examine an asset’s maintenance history, determine if any issue has been reoccurring, and make an informed decision about whether the item should be replaced.
At any given time, departments may conduct an audit of their IT assets to ensure that all items are accounted for. Using an asset management solution, they may also calculate the depreciation of those assets, monitor their usage histories and generate equipment refresh schedules based on accurate, real-time information.
Asset Panda’s mobile asset management solution has helped police departments around the country track their IT investments any way they want through a completely customizable and intuitive system. To learn more, go to assetpanda.com