Hardee County, Florida Sheriff's Office Uses CIS Software Solutions Since 2007.
Hardee County Florida is home to almost 27,000 Residents and is located 77 miles southeast of Tampa and 50 miles northeast of Sarasota Florida. 78 Sworn Officers and 32 civilian staff of the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office use software from Computer Information Systems (CIS) for their dispatching operations, records bureau, Jail and in their deputy vehicles automating all areas of their public safety operations. IT Director Gerald Shackelford is the CIS System Manager and says that CIS’ Records Management and Mobile System with Mobile Field Reporting software is also being used remotely by the Wauchula Police Department’s 19 Sworn Officers and 2 civilian staff and the Bowling Green Police Department’s 6 sworn officers and 1 civilian staff.
“Having all of the police agencies on one integrated CIS System allows information sharing between multiple agencies and efficiencies for dispatch and road deputies and officers alike, while simultaneously updating the CIS Systems with new information,” explains Director Shackelford.
“The CAD is very user friendly,” Director Shackelford states, further explaining, “My favorite feature is the amount of fields that allow the CAD to assist you with information in the future such as key holders, intersections and common place names. CIS CAD will function with minimal information to put a call through, but it is our practice to fill every box with the appropriate data so we will have it for future use if needed. An officer may only give the dispatcher a tag number or a driver’s license number but not ask for anything to be done with it. Dispatchers will run this information through the state system, have the information available if asked, and attach it to the CAD record, even down to the make and model. The more you use it, the more it helps you. I also like the ability to schedule future calls for service and to easily multi-dispatch additional agencies off of an already in progress call. ”
The Sheriff’s Office initially started using CIS CAD, Records Management and Jail System, and in 2007 added the Mobile System. In 2011, the Mobile System was expanded to include Hardee County Fire Rescue. In 2020, they implemented the Mobile Field Reporting System.
“The best feature of Mobile Field Reporting is the ability to complete reports without returning to the office, and the supervisor’s ability to kick those reports back for corrections without calling the units to the office. It keeps them in the Field and available. After our transition to Florida NIBRs, the officer is able to validate his work before sending it on to Records for final validation, creating a smooth work flow in the State and Federal reporting mandates.”
There are several offi cer safety features that the CIS System provides.
“Automatic timers are set to calls for service with an audible alert at scheduled intervals. Alerts for people and places may be set and show up in eye catching colors,” according to Director Shackelford.
There are also benefits for the administrative staff.
“CIS Reports and other tools keeps administration up to date with current stats, officer activity and active cases,” states Director Shackelford, adding,
“CIS systems is used as our primary resource for daily operations in all areas except fi nance. This includes warrants, records, patrol, jail, investigations, civil papers, school resource and courtroom proceedings.” according to Director Shackelford.
CIS provides full support around the clock 365 days per year.
“CIS support is superb. Any issue, bug, user error we have ever had CIS support staff have been there to find, fix, correct or re-educate the user,” says Director Shackelford, further adding,
“CIS played an important role in our system recovery after a ransomware attack that took the entire network down. They provided support in locating and removing the malware, rebuilding our server infrastructure and returning us to full service in less than 48 hours. Without their assistance, we would still be digging our way out.”
Summarizing his experience with CIS, Director Shackelford explained, “As you can see, there are many reasons that CIS is a good fi t for our agency. We knew this after our second meeting with their sales team. We had traveled to many states looking for the best software we could afford. We were shown many systems that could do the job and some that were no better than what we already had, but what it really came down to was fi nding a team that had a product that we could grow with. We have seen many advancements to CIS since 2007, some of which were enhancements that we suggested. To me, this indicates CIS is listening to the user and acting upon their input. What more can an agency want or need from their vendor?”