Civilian Data Entry (Synopsis)

Ontario Provincial Police

Description: To free up police officers for frontline work, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is using civilian staff to enter administrative data into electronic reports. Police officers dictate occurrence information into a central recording system, and civilian transcribers enter that information into the police occurrence reporting system. The civilian staff use the data to complete other relevant tasks, including linking property, persons and addresses; creating court briefs; and generating uniform crime reports.

Detachments have been using civilian data entry on an individual basis for over 10 years. A 2010/11 pilot project evaluated organizational expansion issues and found that a centrally based civilian data entry system was viable and efficient. Full implementation of civilian data entry throughout the OPP is anticipated in 2014.
Objective: Civilian data entry is intended to improve public and officer safety. Specifically, the initiative aims to free up officer time for crime prevention, proactive enforcement and calls for service. The initiative also seeks to improve data quality (to better support intelligence-led policing), reduce data entry turnaround time, and make data available sooner for other investigative and public safety purposes.
Outcomes: Previous OPP research has indicated that civilian data entry is an efficient way to free up officer time for frontline duties, ultimately reducing crime and victimization. Using civilian staff for data entry makes more efficient use of police officers’ time, keeping policing costs as low as possible.

The 2010/11 regional pilot resulted in reduced report writing and administrative time for frontline officers, quicker turnaround time from dictation to transcription, reduced backlog of dictations awaiting transcription, improved data quality and reduced need for maintenance and support in day-to-day detachment operations. Since the conclusion of the pilot, additional detachments have been added to the centralized civilian data entry system, and it is now available in all five OPP regions.
Resources: The 2010/11 pilot project tested civilian data entry in 13 detachments across three regions, with approximately 1,000 system users. Start-up costs included hardware and software costs of approximately $190,000 and a training cost of less than $50,000. Annual costs include salaries at approximately $55,000 per full-time-equivalent per year, approximately $45,000 in vendor service support, and ongoing operating costs (approximately $1600/month for 23 phone lines). Other resources, including project management, research and planning, were absorbed within current budgets.
Province: Ontario
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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