The Alabama Division of Marine Police (AMP) has recently been honored with an Innovation in Technology award from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety for all 50 states and U.S. territories. AMP Chief Enforcement Officer Maj. Bob Huffaker was presented with the award at NASBLA’s annual conference on September 13, 2010.
AMP received the award for its Conservation Officers Operations Reporting System (COORS), which allows officers to document daily activities, vehicle usage, patrol hours, and other division specific information via the Internet. COORS was developed in-house by AMP and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Information Technology section at no cost to taxpayers.
Marine Police Lt. Erica Shipman says COORS was created to better utilize AMP’s resources. “With only 60 officers statewide this system allows them to spend more time in the field instead of behind a desk filling out paperwork,” Shipman said. “What used to take an officer an entire day each month and eight to 10 pieces of paper passing through as many hands, now takes a few minutes each day saving countless valuable man-hours, not to mention the cost of the paper forms and money spent on transporting the reports to Montgomery.”
Since the COORS system went into effect in September 2009 it has streamlined the division’s administrative process in other ways. Earlier this year, the system was used to create disaster reports related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which freed up officers to be more actively involved in the hands-on aspect of Alabama’s recovery efforts.
Other uses for the system include creating accident and disaster reports to be shared electronically with other state and federal agencies, and posting boating courses to ADCNR’s website.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .