As the county seat of Nolan County, the city of Sweetwater, Texas sits on Interstate 20 between Abilene and Big Spring. With nearly 11,000 residents, Sweetwater is the largest population center in the 914-square-mile county and a leading center of wind power generation nationally.
The Sweetwater Police Department is staffed by 28 sworn officers plus additional civilian staff. This includes Chief of Police Bryan Sheridan and Assistant Chief Cory Stroman, a lieutenant, five sergeants, 16 patrol officers, six communications operators (dispatchers), four Criminal Investigation Division (CID) officers, animal control, two school resource officers, and two administrative clerks. Along with providing law enforcement for the city of Sweetwater, the department also operates 911 services for all of Nolan County.
SWEETWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT
officers and staff
In 2021, the Sweetwater Police Department knew they needed a better alternative to their case management and records management system (RMS). But they still hadn’t found the software that would meet their needs, recalls Assistant Chief Stroman. “Our agency is almost kind of a hybrid, so finding software that fits us is kind of a challenge.”
Sweetwater Police Department is larger than some of the region’s other police departments and sheriff’s offices, handling approximately 2,000 cases and investigations annually. And because the community and region continue to grow, the department has also expanded; for example, two school resource officers were recently hired.
The department needed a system that wasn’t only cost-effective but would enhance case and officer accountability, especially for complex cases. Furthermore, some processes were clearly outdated and Sweetwater needed to rely on disparate systems that didn’t work together, wasting precious time.
The Sweetwater Police Department wasn’t new to Kologik; they’d already been using COPsync for several years when they decided to add Kologik’s Records Management System (RMS) and Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD). They chose the two products after research made it clear that these products fit their needs for both features and pricing.
Stroman acknowledges there were some bumps in the road during the transition to the new software, and it took some time for officers to learn the new RMS but when the department contacted Kologik for help, the response was immediate. “The very next day, Kologik had three of their staff in our office – a programmer, a customer service representative and a project manager. We spent that entire day going over the system and looking at areas of concern,” says Stroman. “That was the turning point for me: What other company can I call and know that they’re going to care that much about us as a customer to come here in person to work with us?”
For Stroman, superior customer service is one of the standout benefits. “My story with Kologik is about customer service,” he said. “I tell people about the bank I use in Sweetwater, the same bank that I’ve used since I was 15 years old. I get a very ‘Mayberry’ kind of feeling when I walk into the bank, and they know my name. And now to find that in a software company? I feel like I can reach out to the people I know at Kologik and we get that one-on-one care and attention.”
Since their initial implementation, the department has also had in-person training with Kologik staff. Stroman says his staff found the interactive training format and breakout sessions for dispatchers to be extremely valuable.
Kologik has since worked with the Sweetwater PD to tailor the system to meet their particular needs. For instance, the agency asked for an assigned cases dashboard to be created within their RMS. “The dashboard provides a complete view of every case, whether new or in progress, that’s easily accessible and trackable,” explains Stroman. “It allows officers or investigators to see what’s outstanding or pending further investigation.”
With the department’s significant annual caseload, “what you don’t want is to have a case slip through the cracks,” he continues, “and then six months later you realize the report was not written and the victim never got justice.” With the dashboard, whenever an officer is assigned a case, the case number is displayed on their dashboard along with all pertinent information; with one click he or she can then open the case in the case management system. “This was something they added to help us and it really made all the difference in the world,” Stroman says. “In terms of case and officer accountability, this is what we have to ensure that our victims are not being failed by us.”
Before adopting Kologik software, the department didn’t have a very efficient or automated way to field and track residents’ requests for an officer to patrol their home while on vacation. In fact, officers and dispatchers had to rely on email and phone calls – a manual process that was time-consuming and too often unreliable. Patrol Request is a standard feature in the Kologik CAD and RMS that now makes it easy for a Sweetwater dispatcher to enter the request in the CAD, which is then connected to the RMS. From there, officers can see the request and add any relevant information, including records of the date and time officers’ checked on the property.
Lastly, the department also uses CAD Alerts, which can be tailored to the needs of each agency. In Sweetwater, for instance, any time there is a pursuit or a violent crime, the Chief of Police, Assistant Chief and other designated officers are immediately alerted with a text message and an email as soon as the call is entered into the CAD. If officers need additional help, back-up officers can respond much faster because of these immediate alerts.
“We have a good partnership with Kologik,” notes Stroman. “It’s nice to be working with a company that we have a seat at the table with. Whenever we say, ‘our needs are this,’ they listen to us to see if it’s something that can be implemented.”
For more information on Kologik’s COPsync, CAD, RMS and JMS solutions, contact us at 855-339-9417.
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