New Survey Finds Cumbersome Incident Reporting Processes Cost Law Enforcement Professionals Hours of Time Each Day
2018 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Annual Report Finds Inefficient Documentation Impedes Report Accuracy, Officer Safety and Time in the Community

BURLINGTON, Mass. – January 30, 2018 – Nuance Communications, Inc. today released the results of a new survey that found the majority of today’s law enforcement professionals are spending at least 3 to 4 hours a day completing incident reports and other police paperwork, which means 50 percent of an average shift is being taken up by inefficient documentation processes.

The 2018 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Annual Report examines key documentation issues facing law enforcement professionals specific to incident reporting and other essential documentation tasks, and how these requirements impact report accuracy, productivity and safety. The report – resulting from a November 2017 survey deployed to more than 12,000 Police Chiefs and their Command Staff, including Patrol Officers, Detectives, Sergeants, Lieutenants and those responsible for IT and Records Management Systems (RMS) – considers how departments are using technology to improve reporting processes, and which systems are poised to improve documentation workflows in the future.

Survey data gathered found law enforcement professionals are faced with high reporting demands that, while a critical part of the job, are impacting department-wide productivity and safety due to inefficient, outdated procedures. Key findings in the 2018 Annual Report include:

  • More than 39% of law enforcement professionals surveyed say they spend 3-4 hours per day completing incident reports and other documentation, with 13% spending 4+ hours
  • With heavy reporting demands, over 50% of respondents say they spend at least a quarter of their time on reporting duties back at the station, limiting the time spent in the community
  • More than half of the departments surveyed undertake reporting tasks manually, without the assistance of transcription staff or other technologies such as speech recognition, further burdening law enforcement professionals with inefficient documentation duties
  • Most all respondents – or 96% – "strongly agree" or "agree" that technology packed into today's patrol cars is cause for distraction, such as the impact on situational awareness when heads-down entering data into CAD systems
  • 58% say they currently use a combination of mobile and digital tools to help them complete incident reports, including digital recorders, mobile phones, or tablets
  • Despite widespread use of mobile technologies in the incident reporting process, 31% of respondents are either “very dissatisfied” or “dissatisfied” with their department’s use of police technology to help them do their job 
  • Records Management (RMS) and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems are used by more than two thirds of the departments surveyed, however, fifty-two percent of respondents said getting to and entering data takes dozens of clicks and can sometimes prove uncomfortable due to ergonomic issues while in the patrol car

“You can’t ignore the need for accurate reporting in law enforcement, and how important documentation is in working cases and fighting crime in our communities. But this comes with many challenges, all of which tap into critical tasks officers need to perform each day,” said former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. “Technology has helped make the process more efficient, but many departments are still working through manual incident reporting or human transcription that can be time consuming and costly. It’s critical for departments to consider innovations to not only help streamline reporting, but also allow officers to maintain a 360 Mindset while out in the field, giving them the ability to protect the community as well as themselves by staying heads up and situationally aware.”

“Many of the departments we speak with say their reporting and documentation processes are too cumbersome – they take too long, are not detailed enough, and just as important, can impact officer safety. The way to create incident reports can be made much easier,” said Mark Geremia, Vice President and General Manager, Dragon, Nuance Communications. “With new voice and language technologies, like our Dragon Law Enforcement speech recognition solution, law enforcement professionals can improve incident reporting and make the RMS easier to use – all by voice, and keep officers safer, more situationally aware, and just as important, out in the community.”

The 2018 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Annual Report is now available. To download, visit

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit

Trademark reference: Nuance and the Nuance logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.


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