“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” –Arnold H. Glasow
As a former police officer and criminal investigator, I know that agencies around the country are experiencing officer shortages. I’ve personally been there, but the issue has also been well documented in news articles. In most agencies, officers must stretch themselves thin and work a little harder, but they continue to provide the citizens they serve with excellent service. However, what starts as small day-to-day inconveniences for officers can quickly develop into a crisis for the entire community.
Most agencies monitor the response times to specific high priority calls to show that the force is still capable. As long as the high priority calls are responded to in a timely manner, many people outside of law enforcement will not see a problem. However, in a short-staffed department, officers may not have time to conduct any proactive work such as traffic enforcement. The small problems continue to escalate and then manifest when officers do not have an appropriate amount of time to conduct their work. They may be connecting with a person on a Crisis Intervention call but must cut their service short so that they can quickly respond to a higher priority call. This leaves the person in crisis without the proper help and may lead to a second or third call later on causing further burden on the system.
CFS Analytics can highlight this issue for a community by visually showing the agency and funding decision makers where the problems are surfacing. The tool will show the volume of calls at different times of the day, specific types of calls, and how long officers take to respond. The CFS tool updates on a nightly basis, allowing leaders to quickly recognize patterns and distribute resources accordingly. This data allows leaders to see if resources need to be allocated differently or if more funding is needed to attract and retain new candidates.
Recognizing these mounting problems before they are straining a community or creating an emergency is not only better for the community, but also helps the agency save money, time and mitigate risk with competing priorities.
Find out more at: https://cfsanalytics.rti.org/.