Prairie Island Police Department implements cutting edge communications systems

Indian Country Today

WELCH, Minn.

The Prairie Island Indian Community’s Public Safety Department unveiled and implemented its enhanced mobile data computer and record management system June 10.

When an emergency strikes, access to vital information and the ability to receive it in real-time is critical to having a safe and successful outcome. Prairie Island tribal police officers will now have access to state, federal and local information at their fingertips utilizing some of the latest in cutting edge technology.

After a comprehensive and meticulous research and selection process for an electronic record keeping, transmission and communication system, the police department selected Law Enforcement Technology Group’s eMERTS system. eMERTS stands for Management of Electronic Records and Transmission Systems. They will join numerous other law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota that have made the technology upgrade.

The eMERTS system was developed by Law Enforcement Technology Group, LLC, who specialize in the development, integration and implementation of computer hardware and software programs for public safety and government-related entities. The Prairie Island Tribal Police Department has been testing the system for the last several months, and successfully completed the rigorous training needed to utilize the technology in the field. This system will exponentially improve the response time and accuracy of information, by reducing the time needed to receive information and the time spent to manually write reports and enter data. The department also plans on going green as they become paperless in the future.

The Prairie Island Indian Community invested in this cutting edge technology to enable the department to improve officer safety, address needs of Goodhue County, respond more efficiently and effectively to the community, and to have the most accurate real-time information available. The operational capabilities and effectiveness of the officers will be significantly improved through this state-of-the-art sophisticated mobile technology that utilizes field based reporting, automatic population of data and instant messaging. Officers will be able to quickly complete their forms electronically on the squad laptop. Once the report is completed, it is transmitted to a centralized database for further review or archiving. Every report has a documented paper trail that contains a detailed list of everyone who created, accessed and modified the document.

“The Prairie Island Police Department is the first department in Goodhue County and southeastern Minnesota to utilize this system,” Prairie Island Tribal Council President Ron Johnson said. “It will enable the officers to have the most current information available and support them in their efforts of serving the community. This technology will also allow officers to have a more visible presence in the community and increase the level of protection, prevention and response time, which is a critical aspect of what they do.”

“We have eliminated duplication and streamlined the administrative part of the profession,” Prairie Island Chief of Police Rick Rabenort said. “It helps our officers in their decision making abilities by providing access to critical data in real-time. Instant communication among field officers reduces response times and increases the safety of our officers and the individuals they interact with on a day to day basis.”

The Prairie Island Indian Community owns and operates Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Mount Frontenac Golf Course and the Dakota Station. They are located just south of Hastings, Minn.

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