MRI's team of professionals offer the following police services:
- Interim Staffing and Mentoring
- Recruitment and Assessment of Personnel
- Organizational Analysis
- Accreditation Assistance
- Internal Affairs Investigations
- Evidence Audits
- Grant Development and Administration
- Facility Evaluations
Interim Staffing and Mentoring
On occasion communities find themselves without a police executive for short periods of time. This can be the result of a short term disability or other unexpected absence. The duties and responsibilities of a police department are too important to the residents of a city or town to allow a void to develop due to the absence of the chief. Municipal Resources has the ability to place an experienced police manager in your police department on short notice and remain in place until the current chief returns to duty or a replacement is selected. A number of former police executives are affiliated with MRI that have years of quality police administrative experience. These former officials continue their involvement in the police field through various consulting projects and can confidently take command of any police department with little time needed for familiarization.
MRI police managers know the importance of keeping elected and appointed leaders of the community informed of issues of importance to the police department as well as being visible and accessible to residents and department members. The temporary absence of the police chief can be a difficult time for the department and MRI police managers are experienced in reducing anxiety and maintaining open communications. Arrangements for placing a police manager in your community can be very flexible regarding the number of hours per week and the duration of the assignment.
Being a successful police chief requires years of police experience, training, and education as well as organizational and people skills. Pining a chief’s badge on a high quality but currently unprepared individual does not always generate the desired results. MRI police affiliates can act as a professional mentor to your newly appointed or current police chief who may be experiencing difficulties. MRI police affiliates have a wide range of experience with policing practices and philosophies as well as dealing with specific difficulties that are common in the police business. MRI can establish a police mentor relationship with your police chief based upon the identified needs of the community that might include on site or off site contact in addition to telephone and email communications.
Recruitment and Assessment of Personnel
The selection of a Chief of Police is one of the most important decisions that a community can make. The Chief of Police leads a department that is responsible for the safety and welfare of residents, visitors, and businesses within a city or town. The Chief as well as officers and civilian staff of the department interact daily with citizens on such matters as crime and its prevention, social order, and issues of general public safety. Your police agency is a major department that is responsible for a significant portion of every municipal budget and deals with potential liability filled incidents such as law enforcement, arrests, use of force, and the treatment of prisoners. Communities need to make the best informed decision they can when selecting a chief. This reasoning applies equally as well when the process of promotion to Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Deputy Chief is contemplated.
Municipal Resources has successfully recruited a number of police chiefs in New England. MRI can handle all aspects of the recruitment and selection including development and posting of open position ads, review of current job descriptions with recommendations for changes, receiving and reviewing resumes as well as communicating with applicants. MRI has a long history of selecting those candidates that should move forward to the next step in the process which might include oral interviews, examination of writing proficiency, or assessment exercises. The assigned MRI consultants will participate as a partner with the municipal manager, elected officials, or selection committee during the entire process. MRI will aid and assist through to selection of the best candidate. We will conduct an extensive background investigation and assist in the development of a workable contract.
In many cases promotions in police departments are difficult tasks. Regardless of whether written tests are administered or if the process is under the umbrella of a civil service system, assessment exercises are an important part of the final determination of the best candidate for promotion. Utilizing real world scenarios and objective outside police experts, your community can see how each potential superior officer will handle authentic police related situations geared to the responsibilities of the rank in your specific community. The results of these assessment exercises can then be utilized along with written test results, personnel histories, and oral interviews to give the promotion authority the information they need to select the candidate that best fits the demands of the currently open position.
Police Agencies are very traditional organizations that are resistant to change. When the department needs to incorporate a new law or practice into its daily routine the administration devises a method or form, puts out an order, and rarely looks at the issue again. As chiefs of police change and the decades pass, police departments continue to do what they have done in the past and unless a specific problem arises, little internal or external review is conducted. Professional, external organizational assessments allow for a very much needed look at your police department. The process allows for conversation between highly qualified police consultants and your police leaders as well as a review of current policies and practices. The resulting assessment report becomes the basis for a strategic plan to take your police department to the next level.
Department assessments are conducted by experienced current and former police executives utilizing their extensive knowledge of modern police methods as well as an ability to bring national best practices to the local level. A complete department assessment would cover approximately twenty-five specific areas such as police department facilities, staffing and scheduling, fiscal management, personnel practices, training, communications, use of technology, and policies and procedures. MRI police consultants are attuned to those situations and practices that interfere with successful prosecutions, citizen relations, or personnel management. While at your department and reviewing your policies MRI police consultants are also looking for potential liability rich situations that may require immediate attention. A plan to conduct a review of a specific number of police activities can be formulated to meet the specific needs of an individual department.
In ever increasing numbers, police agencies are deciding to engage in the accreditation process in an effort to improve the effectiveness of their organizations and join the list of departments that are recognized as meeting national best practices in their field. Drawing on its cadre of experienced police executives, MRI can assist police agencies complete self-assessments and prepare for visits from accreditation teams.
National best practices currently exist as standards that are written by the Commission for the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, (CALEA). Many individual states have opted to offer their own “recognition” level accreditation consisting of a lesser number of standards than required for National Accreditation. Having achieved a level of recognition or accreditation promotes pride by employees, appreciation by the community, admiration by peers and the possibility of liability insurance discounts.
Municipal Resources can assist your police department by discussing the benefits of adopting national best practices, conducting a preliminary review to see where your department stands currently on the road to accreditation, provide assistance with policy and procedure development, as well as creating methods to document conformance. The assigned MRI consultants will work closely with the department’s accreditation manager and administration to focus the work of the team toward the attainment of the desired level of accreditation.
Internal Affairs Investigations
Municipal Resources can assist police departments with internal affairs investigations. Utilizing an outside non-law enforcement investigator with extensive police practices and culture experience offers tremendous benefits for the police chief, the department, and the community. Assigning an MRI police consultant to your internal affairs investigation shows the community that the department welcomes a thorough review, while at the same time eliminates all the difficulties with assigning the investigation to a fellow officer. The investigation is conducted with the goal of independently determining the facts of an incident while leaving decisions relative to disposition to the proper authority.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies mandates an inventory be conducted whenever the person responsible for the property and evidence control function is changed in order that records and property are correctly maintained. There is also a mandate that an audit of property held by the agency be conducted on an annual basis in addition to unannounced inspections. Regardless of your department’s position on accreditation, incomplete records and missing property can mean lost court cases, civil suits, and significant embarrassment for the police agency. MRI police consultants are experienced in conducting independent property and evidence audits. The resulting report will act as documentation of compliance for evidence audits and point out ways in which your possessed property and evidence control function can be improved.
Grant Development and Administration
Police departments face tremendous demands to provide for the public safety while making due with tight municipal resources. Annual police budgets often do not allow for utilization of new technology or deployment of trained officers where needed. Public and private grants can sometimes fill this void by providing funds where needed. Grant monies can be sought for radio and computer enhancements, overtime for special programs or equipment, or in some cases the start up funding for additional personnel.
Grants can be difficult to find, cumbersome to apply for, and difficult to administer. All too often police administrators are forced to let grant opportunities pass them by because neither they nor their staffs have the time or expertise to pursue them in a timely fashion. Municipal Resources can provide experienced police administrators to seek out and apply for pubic and private grants in areas where your community has a need. MRI consultants can work with your police department to decide what grants should be sought, write the grant application, and complete the necessary reporting requirements as the grant is utilized.
Is your police department facility the right size? Does it need to be replaced or enlarged? Would a re-deployment of existing space meet the current needs of your police department, at least over the short term? Is your police facility a safe environment for officers and civilian staff as well as prisoners and visitors? Are their potential unsafe conditions that could lead to injury or civil suits? Could internal communications and traffic flow be improved? Can visits to the station by the public be transformed into an opportunity that enhances trust and respect for your officers? Can your existing police facility meet the building requirements for state standards recognition or national accreditation?
The above questions are a sample of the issues that can be addressed by a professional police facility evaluation. MRI can provide experienced police consultants that will work closely with your police staff, to determine the answers to these and other questions regarding this vital municipal asset.