The Evertel executive team has traveled nation-wide to meet with numerous law enforcement agencies and their leaders after high profile incidents, mass shootings, and disasters. Shortly AFTER a crisis, law enforcement leaders realize there has to be a more compliant and efficient method to manage the chaos. Our profession’s planning, preparation and training does NOT prepare our leaders for the communication challenges, complexities and the hurdles of inter-agency coordination following a crisis. Every agency has voiced major concerns just days into the investigation with no solutions to address their concerns… until now.
Here’s an overview of what agencies typically face during and after a crisis:
- Typically, as many as 10-15 agencies respond to a major crisis incident/disaster
- Many responders are ‘self-dispatched’ – employees hear about it and respond
- City police, county sheriffs, state police, federal law enforcement, district attorneys, state attorneys, local elected officials and state-wide elected officials are often at the scene in less than an hour
- In some crises even presidential candidates respond to the scene in as little as 24 hours
- There are often contentious discussions as to who will be the lead investigative agency. When there is a suspect in custody and very high-profile trials will follow, it becomes very political, very quickly
- Most of the time, it is agreed that the local city police department (in major cities) will be the lead investigative agency with support from county, state, and federal agencies
- Inter-agency investigative supplemental reports, coordination/sharing of these reports, inter-agency communications and multi-agency decisions consistently prove to be very complex and not necessarily efficiently handled
- At one recent incident, more than 400 personnel were logged at the scene from 13 responding agencies
- There are NO centralized communication channels and NO safe platform (encrypted and compliant) to share intelligence, photos, investigative updates, discuss progress or host executive collaboration
- It is becoming more common for trial and prosecution that ALL communications and devices are retrieved so that all texts, messaging and voice messages can be logged for the prosecution. This is being demanded by states’ attorneys and DA’s in preparation for defense attorney’s use
- This is a near insurmountable challenge as there could be thousands of texts alone and NO way to get all of that data in a timely manner. Some investigators are instructed to call every employee from the crime scene roster, open up their SMS/text platform and photograph EVERY text during their response and investigation duties. This could be thousands of messages, photos and other communications and take months to complete
- There are significant concerns about the use of consumer Apps by law enforcement. Apps like ‘WhatsApp’, ‘Signal’, ‘Confide’ and ‘GroupMe’ literally maintain possession and control of all data. Investigators could be restricted from gaining access to users’ accounts and these app providers do not need to give access to law enforcement (recent “Apple vs. FBI” ruling).
- Employees and work units are often required to stop working on other investigations to focus on the incident, leaving their services unavailable to local victims or to respond to other serious crimes in their jurisdiction
Evertel’s CEO & Co-Founders have been deeply immersed in every aspect of crime scene management, evidence gathering, and communications challenges (state and federal compliance, un-safe text messaging and use of non-compliant consumer apps). We have spent nearly three years developing a comprehensive solution for each of these concerns. After demonstrating Evertel’s platform and compliant crisis management solutions most agencies deploy Evertel immediately. Here are examples of how these crisis incidents could have been managed from the beginning, starting with the complex investigation and through to the conclusion of the grand jury and trial.
- Inter-agency Crisis Room: At the start of any crisis incident, Dispatch and/or Command can create a private collaboration room and add every critical response team and investigative unit to this room. From any iPhone or Android, MDT/MDC, desktop or laptop, everyone critical to the success of the investigative mission can be co-located, share all updates, decisions and chats in ONE location which is secure, encrypted and state/federal compliant.
- In-platform ‘Direct Messaging’ (DM): This service is Evertel’s answer to SMS/text messaging and other consumer messaging apps. Every DM is stored on the Agency’s platform forever. This reduces the need for multiple evidence techs and detectives photographing thousands of screen images and texts from consumer apps
- Agency Alerts: Significant updates on the day of the crisis can be sent instantly to ALL Agency personnel. During the investigation major updates can also be sent to all personnel so rumors can be controlled and managed instantly by Command.
- Guest accounts: In advance of any crisis or mass incident, agencies can create “guest rooms” and invite key stakeholders to join. Guests are limited to the contents of that room and do NOT have access to other Agency information. However, they do receive instant updates and have the facts they need to address the public and media.
- Media Relations & PIO updates: In addition to using social media and scheduled press briefings all local and national media personnel can be staged in a ‘guest room’ BUT receive more details than provided to the public. Again, instant sharing of controlled information and intelligence from on-site responders is key to the facts being efficiently reported versus rumors from protestors and residents.
- District Attorney/U.S. State Attorney: By having these individuals involved as ‘guests’ in the investigative room, they receive real-time investigative updates. No more long phone calls and formal meetings to keep them updated. At any time prior to the grand jury they have full access to ALL data by requesting an “executive audit” from the lead agency. That audit can be created in moments and sent directly through the Evertel platform.
- Case Closed: Once the crisis and investigation has concluded the manager ‘archives’ the private room and ALL data, texts, voice, chats, photos, and videos are maintained in their original format in the Agency’s encrypted cloud account until they are ‘un-archived’ in preparation for trial!
Contact Evertel today and be ready for ANY crisis, disaster, emergency, or critical incident!
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