Janesville police realize benefits of new communication technology
When patrol shifts needed to be filled, officers interested in overtime were alerted.
When the honor guard practices, officers could be sent reminders.
Janesville police are using new technology to inform officers of emergencies, meetings or other department news. The system sends message to officers via phone, e-mail or text and has become an efficient way to communicate with employees.
Sgt. Charles Aagaard and Officer Gary Myers said they worked together to find and implement the system, One Call Now, which the department has been using for a few weeks.
Aagaard said the new system allows for unlimited messages to every employee or to subgroups such as SWAT, honor guard or canine unit members.
A message can be created and distributed on a website or phone in a few minutes.
The system also allows for responses such as push No. 1 for "yes" or No. 2 for "no" when asked certain questions, Myers said.
For example, a call might go out asking officers whether they would be willing to work an overtime shift, Myers said. The system then ranks officers who answered, "yes," based on seniority to tell supervisors which officer should get the extra hours.
In the past, supervisors would spend hours calling a list of officers in order of seniority to find out if they wanted overtime, Aagaard said.
Aagaard found the new system after searching for something better than what the department had been using. Myers implemented the system during a 30-day free trial and trained others how to use it.