Law enforcement agencies are in a tough position; they have a mandate to protect the public, but it cannot be met at the expense of their employees. Consider these statistics:
- More officers die of suicide than die of shootings and traffic accidents combined.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) cites studies that show between 7% and 19% of police officers experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, compared to 3.5% of the general population.
The ability to identify officers who are at risk for mental health issues, litigation, or reprimand is invaluable. Early intervention in these cases can help to save the officer’s career—or life.
How does an IT Solution Protect Officers?
Managing Data and Automating Workflows
An Early Intervention System (EIS) combines real-time data from reported events of officer misconduct or non-compliance with existing operational data that law enforcement agencies already track for their employees, such as HR data and past incidences of pursuits, accidents, arrests, training, or work injuries. This combined data is run against the levels of acceptable thresholds agreed upon by the agency and configured into the system. When the combined data regarding an officer reaches the threshold, the workflow is triggered and automatically routes notifications through the chain of command. Automation of this workflow:
- Removes subjective reporting about officers
- Provides officers with transparency by providing access to the data collected
- Maintains security on the chain of command
Evaluating the Context and Providing Support
Because exceptional circumstances occur in law enforcement, therefore the automated alerts must be thoroughly reviewed and evaluated by the supervisor in the context of the situation and the officer’s duties. The supervisor can view the details of the alert to identify why it was triggered and to determine how much follow-up with the officer may be required. This opportunity to provide support or corrections before a major incident may make the difference for that officer.
Over time, the cumulative effects of the Early Intervention System, along with implementing associated policies and procedures, will change the culture of the organization and establish new standards of accountability.
Contact us to learn how Sierra-Cedar can help your law enforcement agency implement an Early Intervention System.