Tribal Police get free access to RMS in the CivicEye program

In the US, tribal police agencies tend to be understaffed and under-resourced – and many crimes that occur on Native American lands, such as missing women, go undocumented.

In response, a tech company is launching a program in which it will provide free access to software to help these agencies better manage records and report crimes more easily, with the help of one of the few venture capital firms in the US owned by the American aborigines are located

CivicEye’s Law Enforcement Empowerment Program (LEEP), which is accepting applications through May 16, aims to help get software into the hands of law enforcement departments that lack resources. In the first year it will focus specifically on tribal organizations. The company plans to give agencies free access to its Records Management System (RMS) for two years, as well as on-site training and help transitioning in and out of the system as needed.

Nathan Leatherwood, the company’s Head of Growth and Client Success, expects many of the applicants will be working with either very old RMS software or pen and paper.

“When they have an RMS, most of them are using heavily outdated records management solutions that were bought 10-15 years ago (and) not updated much, and they spend just as much time on administrative tasks as they do out in the community, you know, to serve the people they want to protect,” he said.

Access to a modern RMS could both streamline administrative processes in these departments and provide more information to officers on the ground.

“It’s the brains of the public safety operating system,” said Cameron Newton, founding partner of Relevance Ventures, which invested in CivicEye. “So your CAD call comes in, it exports that to the RMS, the RMS takes that data and then also exports it to court, to prison, and on through the process. So it’s … one of the most important components of the software suite that serves public safety.”

An RMS can be the difference between an officer knowing if the person they are interacting with has a criminal record. It can also be the mechanism by which different police agencies share information about suspects and how they report data such as arrests and use of force to the state or federal government.

“If I can provide real-time data to an officer when they need it, they can make the best decision,” Leatherwood said. “When they make the best decision, we get the best results, and when consistent results occur back-to-back within those[communities]I think that builds trust in the community.”

Newton, who is a member of the Patawomeck Indian tribe of Fredericksburg, Virginia, said the technology found in tribal police departments is very similar to that found in non-tribal departments — it all depends . A more wealthy tribe might have more modern technology.

Even so, he said, more funding opportunities are available to non-tribal departments.

“Whenever you see public safety software grants going down, it’s usually non-tribal affiliations,” Newton said. “One of the outcomes of this program, we hope at least on our side of the table, is that we will be able to go back to government and try to develop a grants scheme. Because hopefully through this LEEP program, if you will, we can show the ROI of these communities that have the software and the data they collect, and how active and more effective policing and public safety will become when they have modern software and have the technology that makes it possible to share data.”

CivicEye has been selling technology to the public safety market for more than 15 years, although prior to January it was known as Agisent Technologies. In addition to RMS, it also offers software for case management, forensic document management and data fusion.

The LEEP program application is available at

Ben Miller is Associate Editor of Data and Business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, economics, community features and technical topics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno and lives in Sacramento, California.

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