Death by a Thousand Cuts
Lingchi (also written ling chi or leng t'che), translates variously as death by a thousand cuts, the slow process, or the lingering death. It was a form of torture and execution used in China from roughly 900 CE until it was banned in 1905.
Many in law enforcement experience this every day as they attempt to collect data and eventually store it. Although small delays or extra steps in a process may not seem like a big deal (the proverbial small cut), as a whole, these may actually be bleeding your departmental efficiency.
Let’s use photos as an example. Taking photos is an essential component of the documentation process. But taking them is the easy part, now you have to go back to the office, tag those photos with descriptions, and get them into your systems. For that you need to find a computer or data terminal, insert the SD card, migrate the photos to your server (include download time & finding the right file location), add descriptions, delete the images from your SD card and return the camera to where it’s stored.
I’m sure you don’t have to look far to find other examples similar to this, however driving for change isn’t about listing more examples. It’s about understanding the current perception of a ‘digital workflow’ and pushing it further, as there is so much still to be unlocked.
Often when we speak to agencies about digital workflows they feel that they meet the qualifications. Using our example earlier, a digital camera, digital images, storage on a secure server - all of these files truly are digital so it’s a fair assumption. But these are digital tools. A digital workflow is achieved when these digital tools are streamlined to work together from collection to storage, empowering officers to complete their everyday tasks effectively.
Digital tools require a manual transfer of data:
Digital workflows mean a seamless flow of data:
With real-time syncing that means any photo captured is automatically uploaded. Metadata like GPS, weather, photo descriptions and other audit related information are collected and automatically stamped to each file.
Though this example is just one of many that run rampant in most police departments, the fact is there are a plethora of solutions that can help us avoid or at least minimize this 'death by a thousand cuts.' As we work towards untethering public safety, our officers and departments will thrive from their new found ability to store easily.