(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $500,000 for the Vancouver Police Department to purchase a new Records Management System (RMS).  The RMS will succeed Clark County’s current crime tracking system that is outdated and can no longer be updated with critical information and improvements.  A new RMS will enable law enforcement agencies in Southwest Washington to perform better crime analysis, deploy personnel in a more effective manner, share information more effectively, and pinpoint areas where patterns of crime are occurring.  Importantly, the RMS would be capable of expanding to partner with regional law enforcement agencies in Southwest Washington and to interface with law enforcement in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

"This funding will help provide the technology the Vancouver Police Department, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement partners in Southwest Washington need to protect our citizens," said Senator Murray. "In such a fast growing region of our state we need to take every step to keep pace with the increasing public safety needs. This new police information system will allow officers to spot crime trends and share information quicker and easier. It will also give residents the ability to get better information from the police on-line."

“The heart of intelligent policing is timely, reliable, and accurate information.  Without a robust Records Management System, effective community policing cannot exist. We appreciate Senator Murray’s assistance in developing a new, badly needed Records System for SW Washington,” said Clifford Cook, Chief of the Vancouver Police Department. 

When the current information system was originally purchased in 1996, Clark County and its cities served a population of 298,000, compared to today’s 415,000 citizens. During this same timeframe the population of Vancouver has grown to 160,800 citizens. This rapid growth, especially in light of the unprecedented changes in the world of information technology, has placed significant pressure on the current infrastructure and data systems.

A new records management system is also the cornerstone of Vancouver Police Department’s move to increase service to its citizens through e-business. It will open up new technology links to Vancouver citizens to give them the ability to file reports on-line, check status of criminal cases and accident reports. 

The RMS is also supported by the Law Enforcement Council of Clark/Skamania Counties, which is comprised of the Battle Ground Police Department, Camas Police Department, LaCenter Police Department, Ridgefield Police Department, Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, Vancouver Police Department, Washougal Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office.

The funding was included in the 2009 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill which passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will now move to the Senate floor. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.