On March 30, 2023, the Mass Casualty Commission delivered its final report on the April 18-19, 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia.
The report included meaningful recommendations to help make communities safer in the future.
The importance of proper note taking by officers is repeatedly highlighted in this report.
This document, created by DMI, covers portions of the Mass Casualty Commission Report that pertain to officer notes, as well as the advantages of electronic notes and how the IMP eNotes Solution adheres and addresses the report´s recommendations.
RCMP policy and everyday practices with respect to member note-taing practices and supervision of member notes are deficient. The national note-taking policy is not adhered to, including with respect to custody of the notebooks, and there is no consistent supervisory practice of monitoring the quality and content of member notes.
Further, there is no daily practice of securing the notebooks at detachments.
IMP enables Supervisors to exercise more control over officer notes, enabling daily electronic review and approval of officer notes, as well as instant access to notes to aid investigations. Supervisors may make comments on officer notes and ask for follow-ups. eNotes are securely maintained on-site at detachments and are encrypted with patent-pending security features.
The Commission recommends that
(a) The RCMP, following the recommendation made by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, should implement training and supervisory strategies to ensure that all members take complete, accurate, and comprehensive notes.
(b) The RCMP should develop an effective asset management process to retain, identify, store, and retrieve the completed notebooks of its members.
(c) Canadian police agencies should evaluate front-line supervisors´oversight of front-line members´note taking as one criterion by which their performance is assessed.
(d) Canadian police education programs should integrate effective notetaking practices into every aspect of their curriculum – for example, by incorporating note-taking skills and assessment into substantive assignments.
IMP adheres to the recommendations of this report and offers a modernized solution.
Standardized arrest forms and traffic act templates ensure the accurate collection of information and evidence.
Unlimited retention, easy identification, and access are all possible with electronic storage of notes, thanks to the eNotes database’s powerful and flexible features.
Administrative access for supervisors enables note critique without compromising the notes’ integrity for the officer’s knowledge.
IMP eNotes is being implemented into the 2023 Police Foundations program at Sheridan college. With several other major colleges following this trend and introducing IMP eNotes into their curriculum.
3. 1. Investigator’s notes should thoroughly describe the details of the occurrence and answer: who, what, when, where, why, and how.
3. 2. Notes should contain professional language, unless documenting verbatim comments.
3. 3. Notes should be factual and descriptive enough to explain decisions made.
3. 4. Sketches and measurements enhance the quality of notes and should be included where practicable.
IMP Investigator’s notes was developed by investigators, for investigators, enabling extensive information gathering and case note creation.
Audio recording is possible with IMP to document interactions between officers and subjects.
Officers have the ability to log every interaction and capture their observations via speech-to-text technology.
Sketches and photos can be attached to notes. IMP integrates with digital evidence management systems.
“Without effective documentation it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine if appropriate actions were taken.” For example, Cpl. A, Cst. B, and Cst. C responded at various times to the complaint Ms. Forbes made against the perpetrator in 2013. Of these members, only Cst. C could locate any notes from his work on this complaint. These notes contained little information about Ms. Forbes’s conversation with RCMP members and omitted information that Cst. C later ecounted about this conversation.
IMP was designed with a robust database, allowing for deep searches of notes. These searches allow officers, supervisors, investigators, and business analysists tools to access critical information and evidence anytime, anywhere, safely and securely.
IMP addresses long standing issues of critical intelligence gathered being inaccessible in the current paper based format.
The Toronto Police Department employs much more stringent rules on the use of notebooks than its Winnipeg counterpart. Every notebook bears the officer’s name and badge number, the date the book was started, and the date it was completed. Each notebook and all the pages in it are numbered.
When officers come on duty they pick up their notebooks from their pigeonholes along with their weapons. Notes that are made must be original and not transferred from other sources such as scratch pads. All entries into the notebooks must be in black pen. No erasures are allowed.
Officers are able to access and identify themselves via the IMP system through integration with the agency IDP credential provider. Seamless integration allows for officers badge, name, and other shift information to be imported, ensuring accountability of ownership of eNotes.
A unique HASH ID, the officer´s name, badge number, and other pertinent information are all included in every note made with the IMP eNotes solution to help identify the incident and everyone involved. Furthermore, no data can be erased from the officer´s notes.
A notebook must be completed before a new one is started. When officers go off duty they note the time in their books, sign the books and turn them in to the staff sergeant, who reviews them, countersigns them and returns them to the officers’ pigeonholes. All notebooks stay in the detachment where officers are stationed. If officers are transferred to another district, their notebooks go with them. Upon retirement the notebooks remain the property of the department.
IMP offers Police agencies an opportunity to modernize historic practices of managing physical notebooks. IMP is a complete Police eNotes solution, which maintains continuity and accountability through a modern electronic solution.
All notes are stored securely on premise, or in the cloud, with access from any location.
Cross Platform solution, allowing officers to work seamlessly between devices and platforms
Native to Android, iOS, and Windows
Offline capability, allowing officers to continue working even in remote areas without cellular connectivity