Software upgrade to assist in city police’s crime fighting efforts

By Alyssa Mulliger

Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson knows that individuals committing crimes disregard boundary lines and don’t limit their activities to specific jurisdictions.

As a way to enhance his department’s investigative and crime fighting efforts, Spartanburg Police will be purchasing a new records management system through Spillman Technologies. The upgrade will allow for data sharing between the police department and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, which already uses Spillman.

Acquiring Spillman will lead to the two largest law enforcement agencies in Spartanburg County sharing real-time police intelligence and incident data, Thompson said. “It will link data that is extremely important to piece together who’s involved and where to go next,” he said. “It helps eliminate some of the dead ends we run into and difficulty in tracking down leads.”

Thompson gave the example of running the information of a person who city police had no prior contact with, but that the Sheriff’s Office did. He said that person’s data will be in the Spillman system and be readily available to the police department to provide investigative leads.

The police department has used its current police records management system for more than 15 years, and it has since become stagnant with the development of newer technology. After researching police records management systems with the city’s IT team, Spillman was selected largely due to its ability to provide data sharing.

“There are analytical components and enhancements that Spillman provides that officers will have at their disposal inside patrol vehicles to help in day-to-day operations,” Thompson said. “What we’ve seen with the records management system and the analytics, this is one that serves us now and down the road.”

The Sheriff’s Office has used Spillman for eight years and has had a great experience with the records management system, said Master Deputy Andy Clark, the agency’s Spillman administrator.

“Our detention facility is on Spillman Jail Management System, so it’s pretty seamless from the time the incident occurs until the arrest and prosecution is over with,” Clark said.

The Spillman system has assisted the Sheriff's Office in getting B.O.L.O. (be on the lookout) bulletins issued in a timely manner and having detailed information compiled in one place.

“We have been able to run reports to link crimes together by M.O., type of vehicle, etc.,” Clark said. “We also run reports in an attempt to predict where the next crime might occur and concentrate the efforts towards that area.”

Once the Spartanburg Police Department upgrades to Spillman, the city and county law enforcement databases will be mirror systems with duplicate data storage. Thompson explained in the event of a natural or man-made disaster resulting in destruction of one system, the duplication of the software database would provide a secure and safe system through the other agency.

“If we learned anything after 9/11, it was the incompatibility of agencies to communicate with each another adequately,” said councilman Sterling Anderson. “So hooking up with the (Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office) is great.”

Other municipalities can join the data sharing initiative at little or no cost, Thompson said, making it a benefit to participating agencies.

“If you are on the Spillman system, you can tie into other Spillman systems,” he said. “If I had it my way, everyone in the Upstate would eventually somehow be tied into this because the bad guys know no boundaries.”

Clark said that being part of the Spillman system benefits the community as a whole.

“We believe that being on the same system, the ability to share information easier than before and having that open line of communication will help our efforts in keeping the citizens of Spartanburg County safe,” he said.

Read the original story here.