The number at the top of this blog may strike you as a little odd.
This is the number of files the force has moved from its legacy computer systems into Connect. Pieces of data from various systems that we had to pick up and transfer into our new operating system in a way we can access and use them. Ever tried to transfer the address book from one phone to another? Not easy, and you can see why this has been such a huge project. Technology is a little bit like an iceberg; those of us using the system only see the tip and not the huge complexity below the waterline.
I make these points as this last week has been a seismic change for West Midlands Police. We have never before had a fully integrated operational policing system. Over the years, we have grafted pieces together with loose ends and compromises. With so many systems involved, some would age and become sick and replacement was not a choice. Some systems were at end of life. Today, the force has the UK’s most modern operational system.
I want to offer a big ‘thanks’ to everyone for getting us to this point. Thank you to the Project Team, our Business Transformation, IT and Digital, Accenture and Northgate colleagues, Super Users, those working in service transition support and for the work of L&D on training materials.
Most of all, thank you to you – you have completed the training and are patiently working through the inevitable frustrations and snags. I understand that this can be very tough when you are busy. It will take us time to adjust to Connect and get the system just right for us, but we have made a good start. I hope you can see the potential, so let’s keep helping each other get the best out of the system.
Despite the force dealing with a major operation to address a pandemic, we have carried on moving forward and have swapped out both Command and Control and all our operational systems with Connect.
As the lockdown restrictions are easing, the normal demand on policing is coming back. The COVID focused activity will start to ease, even if life at work and home may not feel back to normal yet. It has been a very tough time for us all in policing and we are going to recognise this.
I intend to issue a commendation to every member of staff who has served in West Midlands Police during the Operation Colonel operational period which will be from the start of the 2020 lockdown until the end of restrictions on the 21June 2021. This commendation will be accompanied by a special coin issued to each of you, to mark your service during this time. You have been outstanding. More details will be released on how we propose to issue these in the forthcoming weeks.
As part of our return to normality, the DCC will be launching our “This Work Matters” annual plan next week, highlighting our priorities for the next 12 months. With support from our uplift resources, we can now return more of our efforts to traditional priorities, outside of COVID.
Thank you for your hard work.