The Benefits of Applying Internal Analytics at Your Agency
By Heather Fifield
Public safety officials are facing increased pressure from internal and external forces to keep pace with an increasingly demanding environment, often with limited financial, physical, and human resources. These pressures can include managing natural emergencies and disasters, public order, and citizen services, not to mention promoting public trust in law enforcement. One strategy public safety officials should consider to help meet these objectives is to focus on internal analytics. An internal analysis is an exploration of your agency’s proficiency, legitimacy, and ability to work successfully.
A Culture of Accountability
Trust is formed when members of a team consistently demonstrate ownership and accountability. When there is no accountability, it damages not only the team, but the workplace culture as well. A culture of accountability leads to increased synergy and offers a safe climate for experimentation and change. In addition, it also assists law enforcement agencies to be more transparent in their policing. Creating trust between citizens and public safety officials depends largely on the public’s ability to hold those offices accountable, which can be achieved when the public has sufficient access to information, especially as it relates to law enforcement officials and their conduct with the public. Agencies need to regularly examine the relationship between officers and those they serve and protect. This process can be made easier with the help of law enforcement and police analytics.
A successfully implemented culture of accountability provides many benefits to public safety agencies, including:
- Improved performance
- More participation and involvement
- Increased feelings of competency
- Increased commitment to the work
- More creativity and innovation
- Higher morale and satisfaction in the job
If there is a distrust of law enforcement officials, it can undermine an agency’s legitimacy, which can lead to a loss of the ability and authority to function effectively. Officers face the dilemma of trying to raise the community’s level of trust and confidence in law enforcement officials while also effectively controlling crime. If you have noticed trust of local public safety personnel is a problem in your community, internal law enforcement and police analytics can serve as a tool for your agency to help address concerns.
Enter Internal Analytics
Internal analytics software can help build trust and offer transparency by calculating trends and patterns and presenting the information in an easy-to-analyze format. Administrators can easily use law enforcement and police analytics to view each officer’s or group’s workload, performance, and statistics, helping to create that critical culture of accountability in the department.
Agency administrators can pull statistics on each personnel’s performance regarding incidents such as accidents, arrests, citations, and warnings using the Command Staff Productivity Dashboard. This tool can pull any data entered into an agency’s Spillman Flex records management system that is attached to an officer’s name, allowing for more robust and informative reports. Having this data quickly available allows executives and managers to focus on outcomes and accomplishments in the department, instead of just a process or statistic. Supervisors can also create more granular graphics that detail the types of incidents an officer has been involved with and include specifics such as area, time, and demographics.
This readily accessible information can help administrators identify and reward high-performing personnel, while also narrowing in on personnel who may benefit from additional coaching and education. Simply put, internal law enforcement and police analytics can help command staff or administrators see at a glance the data that prove agency personnel are working with citizens in an unbiased way, or else quickly identify areas of concern that need to be addressed. Detailed reports can be shared not only within the agency itself, but with the community as well, which assists in improving transparency and building overall trust between the agency and the neighborhoods they serve.
Another key benefit of internal law enforcement and police analytics is that it can give agency leadership the information necessary to employ resources that work to the community’s advantage. Spillman Flex’s CompStat Management Dashboard eliminates the need to run multiple reports by compiling information stored in the RMS database into easily analyzed charts and graphs of crime trends and more, thus enabling command staff to quickly make informed decisions about where to focus personnel and other agency resources. The Command Staff Productivity Dashboard also includes a mapping feature that allows supervisors to visually represent where the work is being performed and where it is still needed.
Internal law enforcement and police analytics make it easier for public safety officials to increase trust between the community and officers and establish a culture of accountability in departments to improve efficiency and performance of an officer or group of officers. Internal law enforcement and police analytics can assist in relieving some of the pressures facing public safety officials and improve citizens’ attitudes toward their local law enforcement.