New, seamless online tool helps Halton Police receive off duty requests online
As part of its mandate in serving the community, Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) provides paid duty officers for a variety of events and functions on a cost recovery basis.
Following the risks identified at an internal audit conducted at HRPS, the finance manager, Greg Kinnear, was convinced that their previous system could no longer manage their paid duty requests effectively. It was in light of this that eSolutionsGroup was contracted for the deployment of their PolicePro.tech Paid Duty platform to digitally request officers to attend an event, as well as provide a fair, policy-based awarding off-duty requests to officers interested in fulfilling event requests.
Prior to implementing Paid Duty, HRPS’ citizens had to fax or email in request forms and the internal process for officers was intranet-based; officers applied for events and staff manually awarded pay duties and kept track of hours worked, billing, and payroll. This was not efficient and posed a risk to the department. HRPS had several challenges that impeded its efficiency in booking paid duty events:
- Citizens had to make booking requests by a faxed or emailed request form
- Officers had to apply for events manually through the Intranet
- Staff had to track scheduling, hours worked, billing and payroll in spreadsheets or SharePoint
- The process involved unnecessary repetition of administrative tasks
- Support was not available, particularly during off-hours
At the time, Kinnear could not find an off-the-shelf solution to cater to this specific need and creating their own solution with their internal programmers did not seem feasible.
The Paid Duty solution changed the role of our Paid Duty Coordinator, making it more efficient. She was spending 75% of her time just doing administrative work, recording the same information in multiple places.
After contacting GHD Digital, Kinnear determined that the Paid Duty platform would help the department simplify its processes. This included the implementation of:
- A centralized online platform for citizens to submit events, replacing the need for faxed or emailed requests, with secure online payment options
- Customizable and automatic forms depending on the type of event request, i.e., traffic plans
- A secure administrative area that allows staff to search, retrieve, view, print, modify and update requests
- Paid Duty bidding options for officers to request shifts from multiple device options and any location
- The ability to update for actual hours worked, then automatically generate an invoice for payment or refund, as required; Customized reports for billing and payroll, and month-end accounting entries
- Vehicle assignments to officers once requests are approved
- Automated email and SMS notifications to staff, officers and citizens about events, updates, payments, and billing
The Paid Duty solution has reduced administrative staff hours dedicated to transcribing requests and notifying or calling officers for paid duty events. And more importantly, the streamlined process, and integrated automation helps make it easier for the community to book and pay for events. We also realized that our financial analyst was able to free up 3-4 hours of her time a week previously spent on billing-related work for paid duty for other important tasks.
With the new system, because all the information is essentially entered by the customer, our paid duty coordinator is more able to add value throughout the process. The coordinator is now able to review trends, plan for busy months, and find ways to improve our pay duty processes.