RPD launches new online system to fight crime more efficiently



They're calling it a game-changer.

The Richland Police Department launches a brand new online system to help them work more efficiently to keep the streets safe.

The new program called SmartForce, acts as a massive communication tool for all officers in the department.

It stores any and all critical information police officers need to do their jobs and conduct investigations.

They say the goal of the program is to keep you and your family safer than ever before.

After nearly 2 1/2 years of development, Richland police have a brand new way to work faster, smarter and more efficiently.

"This is a game-changer. Not only for Richland PD, but for law enforcement in the Tri-Cities as a whole" said Cpt. Mike Cobb, Richland Police Department.

Two weeks ago, the department launched SmartForce, an online cloud program officers can use to communicate, share investigation information, and just go over what they're working on each day.

"Information that previously would have been posted on a white board or a running Word document or some other way to transfer it is gonna be all posted on SmartForce" said Cobb.

Here's how it works: Any Richland officer can access the program at any time, anywhere through a computer, smart phone or tablet - all they need is an internet connection.

Officers can look up cases, send messages to each other, and even post evidence right from the scene of a crime.

"Yesterday was one good application. We had a burglary at a local coffee shop. Suspect left a footprint behind. The officer took a photo of the suspect, posted it to the SmartForce site. Seconds later, officers on the same shift contacted a criminal suspect. Wanting to know if they had any updated suspect information, they said yeah, check the shoes. They ran up the website, saw the shoe, had the guy lift up his foot, wrong shoe. So they cut the individual loose" said Cobb.

Police say SmartForce will help make sure information doesn't fall through the cracks, and it will save them time as they work to keep you safe.

"Anything that has to do with threats to communities can be instantly communicated, so everybody is gonna benefit from this, from employees to community members" said Cobb.

The Richland Police Department is the first to use this new program throughout the country.

SmartForce was even partially developed right here in Richland by the police department's IT team.

Officers say SmartForce help them save money because information will flow more easily.

They say the program will also reduce legal risks because it will help the department manage its cases better.