Cumberland County has been using video conferencing in the criminal justice area for several years. The technology allowed for a point-to-point connection so a judge, for example, could have a face to face meeting with an inmate or police officer at the prison without the need to travel or transport inmates. With the ever changing improvements to technology and the acquisition of equipment through grants or donations, Cumberland County has enhanced its video conferencing capabilities. Now, police officers in the field can video chat with a judge using a smart phone thereby expediting the warrant process, saving time and reducing travel costs.
Thanks to a generous donation of video conferencing hardware and software from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the County was able to expand its use of video technology to the rest of the organization in October 2015. Use of this technology improves workforce efficiency and enhances cost savings.
Increase employee productivity by reducing time spent in public meetings
A straight forward 5 minute presentation can be done via video conference instead of sitting through an entire meeting
Reduce travel costs as in-person meeting needs decline
Traveling from a remote County office or to a State agency is limited which reduces mileage reimbursements and parking fees. Employees are also more productive as they are eliminating travel time.
Increase engagement opportunities
Children & Youth recently began utilizing video teleconferencing technology to improve efficiency in its operations. Caseworkers now have the ability to use computer tablets in the field to help with child in-take and placement services. Information is then shared with an oversight committee who will complete a risk assessment that includes living conditions and any safety concerns. The real-time information is used to develop a plan of action for that child.
Video teleconference use also serves as an additional safety measure for the caseworker in the field.