Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Police Department is one of three law enforcement agencies in Johnson County that will soon roll out a new records management system.
The new system, named NICHE, will replace the current ILEADS system and is meant to not only simplify data entry components of police records but also greatly enhance the sharing of information between agencies in the region.
“Gardner, Olathe and Merriam police departments were selected to go first before the system is rolled out to other agencies in the region,’ said Sgt/ Steve Benz, GPD public information officer, and one of 14 officers leading the effort throughout the county.
Gardner police will start using the system in the second week of December, and the rest of the agencies in the county are expected to be onboard by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
“Currently different agencies in the county use different systems but all Johnson County police chiefs met a few years ago and decided to go with NICHE,” said Sgt. Benz.
He said that Gardner and other agencies have spent about two years preparing for the switch including installing the software and training the officers.
NICHE is a Canadian based records management system that is gaining wide acclaim in law enforcement.
“This is the system being used by major agencies worldwide including the Canadian Mounties, Interpol, Scotland Yard and the London Metropolitan Police,” Benz said.
Benz said that the consortium of agencies in Johnson County worked to customize the system to the local needs.
When fully implemented, the new system will be in use throughout several states including Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
“This system will allow us to share information with other agencies in real time,” he said.
The system allows for the complete electronic transmission of data including the sharing of evidence between the agencies and the District Attorney’s office and the courts.