Background The University of South Florida police department is home to 52 sworn officers, serving a large student population that includes more than 44,000 students and over 6,000 on-campus residents. In a non-pandemic year, there are as many as 400 special events (concerts, parades, student & sporting events) held on the Tampa, Florida campus, requiring one to 30 off-duty officers.
Lieutenant Mark Aristizabal took the reins of off-duty coordination in 2017. When he stepped into the role, the department was already using a platform for off-duty coordination which Lt. Aristizabal found functional, yet cumbersome. But, since neighboring police departments used the same tool, it made practical sense to use the same platform for those occasions when the USF department needed to tap into neighboring off-duty officers for large events.
In considering an alternative solution, USF wanted:
- A reliable and robust mobile platform that functions seamlessly across Android and iPhone
- A platform that is flexible and makes it easy to input jobs
- Insights and documentation to support credibility and accountability
The GPS-enabled RollKall app is a huge asset to us because we work a lot of events. Officers can communicate with each other and event organizers through the app. They can see where everyone is and where more coverage may be needed. It’s really cool.”
- Lt. Mark Aristizabal
Decision To Adopt
RollKall met all of USF’s needs. It being less expensive than their existing solution made the decision to adopt easy. Beyond the bottom line, it was clear RollKall could provide convenience for officers, clarity in communication with clients, insights for command staff, and time savings with coordinating off-duty.
Given the number of special events USF’s off-duty officers work, the RollKall mobile application for officers is a huge benefit which was lacking with its previous solution. It was immediately evident in evaluating RollKall that its mobile app would make it easy for officers to find and accept off-duty assignments - no longer would they have to log into a desktop application. In addition, they get helpful reminders about where to be, when to be there, and have all the details they need to do a good job right at their fingertips.
Clarity in Communication
App-enabled communications was another big win in the platform transition for USF. Being able to communicate with the supervisor or off-duty customer, without giving out officers’ private numbers, is helpful. For a group of officers to be connected through the app while working an event helps them do their job. If a child is lost, officers working the event can quickly and reliably share a photo. Event organizers can see where officers are and request more coverage in a certain area. The visibility offered by the RollKall app was a huge benefit.
GPS tracking makes it easy for officers to clock-in and -out, and track hours. Now, every hour of off-duty time is logged and tracked. The GPS feature was appealing to USF command staff too. They have a clear line-of-site on officers’ whereabouts. If ever any aspect of the detail is called into question, with respect to an officer’s presence on site, those details are documented and easily accessible.
Coordinator Time Savings
Lt. Aristizabal, the coordinator, has found inputting jobs much easier on RollKall. The previous tool didn’t allow him to save details as he went. Backtracking meant starting over. A job that would have taken about 50 minutes to input in the old system now takes about 10 minutes or less to input in RollKall.
As USF rebuilt its off-duty pipeline in the wake of COVID, Lt. Aristizabal found inputting jobs much easier. Officers have been impressed with the features and convenience of RollKall. And command staff is happy with the increased accountability. There have been zero complaints about the platform transition.
“We weren’t actively searching for a better solution but we’re glad we found RollKall. It is a truly dynamic platform. This company knows law enforcement’s needs, listens and responds to customers, and works hard to deliver a truly helpful platform. We have been wowed by RollKall’s customer service too.”
“Being a small department, I was the sole coordinator which was a challenge… and made it hard to take a vacation. RollKall is so easy to use. Even though I’ve only been using it myself for two months, I’ve trained others to use it.”
- Lt. Mark Aristizabal