IT teams at West Midlands Police have been working around the clock to keep the region's forces policing through the pandemic
The team have sourced 1,000 new laptops for officers and staff in critical roles who have been self-isolating or shielding from Covid-19 – and who otherwise would have struggled to play their part alongside colleagues in work.
It’s been all hands on deck as the laptops have been built to personal specifications and equipped with bespoke software depending on the recipient’s role.
Up to 100 a day have been built and delivered by our police driving school trainers to employees across the West Midlands and out to Leicestershire, Worcestershire and Telford.
The tech team had already built two new servers to deal with the increase in digital traffic and developed a new capability so the majority of laptop and mobility faults could be resolved remotely, without the need to ‘dock’ or face to face appointments.
Helen Davis, Assistant Director for IT & Digital, said: “Had this pandemic struck a few years ago we would have struggled to enable self-isolating colleagues to continue working. But thanks to our IT&D Department we’ve managed to maintain our service levels against the odds.
“IT & Digital have been unsung heroes during this crisis: they’ve come into the office and worked hard to ensure the organisation can been able to work remotely and support colleagues at work.
“They have dealt with the huge logistical task of getting the devices built and ready to go.
“This allowed us to ship the device to people’s front doors and have them operating very quickly with the pre-built instructions.”
For the first time in our history, certain applications have also been developed to be directly accessed at home which was previously only available on mobile devices.
Witness statements can now be taken electronically and a pilot scheme has enabled some response officers to work from home and call handlers to take 101 calls through their laptops.