Sergeant Doug Kazensky and Solutions Engineer Johnny Roberson recently sat down for a riveting discussion on how Longview (WA) Police Department uses Vector Solutions' (TargetSolutions) suite of software to automate and simplify their training, manage their equipment and schedule their staff.
Learn from Longview Police Department's first-hand experience moving from an outdated system with fragmented data to a modern, time-saving suite of solutions that provided better insight, tracking, communication, and reporting. The solutions have helped them improve officer performance, reduce liability exposure, and better manage their resources.
Like many police departments facing increasing demands with limited resources, Longview PD set out to find a better way to conduct and manage their training programs. "Training and technology are two of the pillars of 21st century policing." Sgt. Kazensky explained. "We had to look at: What are we doing now? And how can we bring those ideas into an upgraded version of what we're trying to obtain? It really came down to what we're doing now is not working." Records were scattered across different systems. Paper documents were being stored in multiple buildings. Pulling requested data was a nightmare and afforded no confidence the information was accurate. There had to be a better way.
After researching multiple solutions, in 2016, Longview PD selected Vector Solutions (TargetSolutions), initially just for its comprehensive training management capabilities, and primarily because of its customizable platform, personable customer service, and great ROI. Longview's main goal at the time was reducing liability exposure through proper documentation and reporting. And with Vector Solutions' Learning Management System (Vector LMS), that's precisely what they did.
When a city council member, command staff, Chief, or public disclosure request asks for training records, Sgt. Kazensky is confident that the information he provides from the LMS is accurate, competent, and real. Also, as an instructor, what Sgt. Kazensky refers to as "vicarious liability" for FTOs and FTMs being held responsible for not observing, tracking, and maintaining accurate records—Vector LMS, again, came to the rescue.
Seeing the blending learning capabilities of Vector LMS further solidified the value of the platform for Sgt. Kazensky. This learning style—mixing live, in-person training with online learning—meant officers could learn a portion of the material outside the classroom at their own pace and spend more time putting what they've learned to practice during critical in-field training.
After implementation, Sgt. Kazensky realized there was so much more the platform could do besides simply tracking training hours. He said, "Very quickly, we realized that we can utilize the platform to expand our training. To get real creative with how we do things." And they did.
Learn more in this 10-minute video
Realizing a need for a scheduling solution in 2017, Longview PD started asking around. Discovering the fire department was already using CrewSense (now Vector Scheduling), the police department decided to also give it a try.
"For personnel, training sergeants, admin sergeants, or lieutenants that are looking at the scheduling aspects, this is one of those software apps that our officers and all our employees… love," Sgt. Kazensky stated. With capabilities to request time off, check on available shifts, create and adjust schedules, track overtime limits, and more right from the app, everyone saves time and gets the convenience of a modern app.
In addition to maintaining staff scheduling, Longview PD is using the scheduling software to post training schedules. Whether it's overlapping training, SWAT, drone, canine, outside agency, or any other specialty training session, the user-friendly mobile app makes it easy to manage and have insight into all scheduling needs on-the-fly.
Hear Sgt. Kazensky share his perspective in this 5-minute recording
In 2020, when Sgt. Kazensky started looking for ways to improve their DORs, Vector Solutions delivered with the release of Vector Evaluations+. This easy-to-use mobile app made it simpler for FTOs to record and document in-field officer training and improve skill proficiency.
"On our side, we were able to build the DORs to look just like the paper DORs that our FTOs had been using. They're familiar with the format," Sgt. Kazensky said, "but now they have new ways of accomplishing things….They can pop out their phone, make a quick little note and come back to it later." FTOs and FTMs love the program, he emphasized, and they were the driving force behind using it.
Expanding beyond DORs, Longview PD started using Evaluations+ for firearm qualifications, defensive tactics, and annual employee evaluations, also recognizing additional evaluation uses like active shooter and violent intruder.
Get Sgt. Kazensky’s first-hand account in this 7-minute clip
After realizing some of their high-dollar items like laptops were going missing, Longview PD knew they needed a better way to manage their equipment and assets. In 2020, the department beefed up its inspection and asset management capabilities with the Vector Check It mobile app. As part of the Vector Solutions' suite, Check It provides centralized inventory equipment, vehicle, and gear management.
Now, Longview police officers can see exactly what equipment they are supposed to have, complete daily and weekly customized checklists, and create tickets and workflows for items needing repaired or replenished right from their smart device.
"You don't know what you don't know until all the sudden you're missing something." - Sgt. Doug Kazensky
Keeping track of inventory from the cradle to grave and setting up notifications on everything from expiring drugs to supplies dropping below set limits and vehicle maintenance has been invaluable for reducing risks, ensuring accountability, and eliminating paperwork.
Sgt. Kazensky shares his experience in this 7-minute video
Vector Solutions' suite, including Vector LMS, Vector Evaluations+, Vector Scheduling, and Vector Check It, all come together to provide law enforcement agencies with a comprehensive training, workforce, and asset management solution.
Longview Police Department experienced first-hand the benefits of choosing a one-stop-shop suite of software in Vector Solutions and are reaping the rewards with more effective and efficient operations across the board.