The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in California, US, has deployed Microsoft Office 365 to provide law enforcement officers and support staff with a secure and compliant platform to collaborate across 60 locations.
Aiming to improve the way it responds to citizen needs, investigates crimes and completes administrative tasks, the department worked in partnership with Planet Technologies to roll out Office 365 to 200 employees in April. The department will also complete a phased implementation for an additional 2,800 employees.
Replacing the different software running in multiple offices across the county, Office 365 enables the department to use the cloud to store and access important information, rather than a limited number of on-premises services. This allows officers to access information quickly and easily in emergencies. For example, employees can connect to systems and data using the cloud when power is unavailable in parts of the county– which is geographically largest county in the US – allowing them to prepare for disasters and provide a quicker, more informed incident response.
“I don’t think a lot of people realise that if we can get information to a deputy on the streets faster, we can be safer and take care of the communities much better,” said Shannon Dicus, commander of the information services division, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “That’s really where the return on investment lies.”
In addition, Office 365 meets the privacy and security requirements of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) and the California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (CLETS) for data access and management. Deploying Office 365 has also eliminated the need for IT staff to spend one day a week managing security issues and upgrades for its complex system.
As part of Office 365, the Sherriff’s Department will also leverage Microsoft Lync to hold video conference meetings with remote staff. The department plans to deploy 100 ruggedised Dell devices running on Windows 8.1, which meet CJIS and CLETS standards and allow secured, mobile access to data.
“A big part of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s charter is to ensure and protect the safety of its community,” said Michael Donlan, vice president of state and local government, Microsoft. “By moving to a government cloud platform that is reliable, agile and compliant, the department can focus on this mission and work together to build solutions more quickly, efficiently and securely. The upcoming rollout of Microsoft Lync and the Windows 8.1 devices will further enable the department to transform the way it helps citizens and increase its effectiveness.”
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