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Officer Breaks Digital Barrier With New Crime Statistics And Information System

Police officer Carmenia Zotaa has worked manually in all her professional life.

The officer who doubles up as an investigator and statistician, has been recording and compiling investigation reports and crime statistics from her area of jurisdiction on paper before dispatching them manually to her superiors, who would in turn take weeks to review before returning them to her to make corrections and amendments. In retrospect, it was a long, arduous process.

However, today she is one of the Liberia Police digital trail blazers thanks to an online Crime Statistics Information System (CSIS), developed with support from UNDP.

When the system was rolled out in January 2021, she was the only woman among five men selected to pioneer the use of the system in Montserrado County in Monrovia.

“Being able to use this technology has put us on par with our male colleagues. One came to me just the other day asking how I managed to learn to use the system. This makes me feel very accomplished and that I can reassure my male colleagues that there is nothing to worry about,” she explained.

She expressed the difference digitalization has made to her work. “The CSIS system had two components; a smart phone or tablet and an online portal which aggregates and analyzes crime information, easily generating reports for decision-makers in the LNP,” Officer Zotaa asserted.

“Now I input information into the tablet as crime reports come in and before I know it; the work of reporting is over, and I no longer have to struggle with bad handwritten reports,” officer Zotaa intimated with confidence.

She said she directly inputs alleged criminals’ biodata, their photos and other particulars of the crime including GPS locations even before they make an arrest. Previously they had to wait until a matter is heard and concluded in court, which often takes years, before submitting their final reports on crimes committed.

Being part of the rollout of digitalization of the Police Crime Statistics Information System has catapulted her into the digital stratosphere.

“I know how to use social media, but I did not know how to send an email,” she said. “The CSIS system requires us not to only compile reports digitally, but also to submit them by email,” she stated.

As she proudly explains her digital prowess, she is undoubtedly elated to be able to connect and share experiences with her colleagues nationally and regionally about her experiences and inter-agency collaboration.

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