Early warning system

GENERAL ORDER #GO-007: EARLY WARNING SYSTEM

 

Effective Date 1/1/2018

 

 

 

Purpose

 

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the use of the Guardian Tracking Software as well as administering a personnel early warning system.

 

 

Policy

 

It is the policy of the Bogota Police Department to implement and utilize Guardian Tracking as an early warning system for tracking and reviewing the incidents of risk, allow supervisors to document routine employee performance and provide timely intervention consistent with Attorney General Guidelines.

 

 

Procedures

 

  1. General

 

An early warning system is designed to detect patterns and trends before the conduct escalates into more serious problems.  As such, employees must understand that the early warning system is not identical to the disciplinary process. Although it is possible that disciplinary action may be taken as the result of evidence that rules and regulations were violated, this is not the sole or even primary intent of the system. The primary intent is to address potential problems through the use of appropriate management intervention strategies before negative discipline becomes necessary.

 

All levels of supervision, especially first line supervisors, are expected to recognize potentially at-risk employees, identify training needs and provide professional support in a consistent and fair manner.  Emphasis should be placed on anticipating problems among employees before it results in improper performance or conduct. 

 

 

Many different measures of employee performance can be regularly examined for patterns or practices that may indicate potential problems.  These performance measures may include, but are not limited to, the following documented indicators as per the Attorney General Guidelines:

 

  1. Vehicle stop demographic data

  2. Search and seizure demographic data

  3. Internal complaints, regardless of outcome

  4. Civil actions filed, regardless of outcome

  5. Use of force incidents

  6. Claims of duty-related injury

  7. Arrests for resisting arrest

  8. Arrests for assault on a law enforcement officer

  9. Criminal investigations or complaints made against the employee

  10. Incidents of arrested persons injured

  11. Vehicular pursuits

  12. Vehicular accidents

  13. Cases rejected or dismissed by the prosecutor

  14. Evidence suppressed by the court

 

The early warning system is primarily the responsibility of the Chief of Police, but any supervisor can initiate the early warning process based upon his/her own observations. 

 

The Chief of Police shall cause an annual evaluation of the early warning system to assess its effectiveness. The Chief of Police or designee shall prepare a written report by February 1st of the prevailing year noting the previous year’s participants and outcomes.  Modifications to this process should be implemented at the earliest opportunity.

 

Guardian Tracking Software

 

This department will utilize Guardian Tracking® software in order to manage, track, and trigger alerts with respect to this Personnel Early Warning System.  All employees shall check the Guardian Tracking System at least one time during their work shift.

 

Guardian Tracking® is an employee behavioral monitoring and early warning system.  In no way does it excuse a supervisor or any other employee from following the procedures mandated in this department’s Internal Affairs policy. 

 

Supervisors of all ranks and assignments shall have access to the Guardian Tracking system via an assigned login and personal password.  Employees who have not been issued a login are not authorized to access the system.

 

It is the responsibility of all supervisors to enter all incidents listed below for each of their subordinates.  Supervisors who fail to document incidents as required by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

The following shall serve as a guide to the incident categories contained within Guardian Tracking® designed specifically for entry by Sergeants of this department.

 

Application of Leadership Skills – To be used when an employee demonstrates or exhibits commendable actions that indicate his/her knowledge of job responsibilities.

 

  • - Official awards or citations that commend an employee’s action.

 

Crime Scene Protection – To be used when an employee does an outstanding job in protecting a crime scene.

 

Exceptional Performance – actions that are above and beyond what is expected but may not be worthy of an official commendation.

 

  • - To be used when an employee’s manner of grooming or dress is not in compliance with department policy;

 

  • - To be used when an employee either shows initiative in the performance of a job function or when needed to document the absence of initiative on the part of an employee;

 

Interviewing Skills - To be used when an employee has the ability to elicit required information from suspects, victims, witnesses and associates

 

Letter of Praise – Written correspondence received by the agency regarding positive actions demonstrated by an employee.

 

Notes - Notes are to be used to track any communications that do not need to be monitored.

 

Outstanding Community Involvement – To be used when an employee shows outstanding community involvement.

 

Positive Impact with Youths – To be used when an employee has a positive impact with local youths

 

Radio Procedure - To be used whenever an employee uses radio procedure that is contrary to department policy or FCC regulations;

 

  • To be used when an employee’s performance/behavior exceeds the expectations and standards set forth by this department.

                    

  1. Peer – To be used by all officers when recognizing outstanding performance amongst one another and/or towards a supervisor

  2. Public – To be entered by Sergeant when an officer receives recognition from the public.

  3. Supervisor -

 

  • – To be used when an employee turns in a report that is poorly prepared, incomplete or otherwise improper

 

  • - To be used whenever an employee reports for work after the time set forth by his/her schedule in accordance with department policy.

 

  • – to be used when employee(s) exhibits exceptional teamwork behavior;

 

Leadership Demonstrated – to be used when an employee exhibits exceptional leadership.

 

The following incidents will only be entered into the Guardian Tracking® System by the level of Captain or higher.  Entries will only be entered after review by the Internal Affairs Commander and approval by the Chief of Police. 

 

Citizen Complaint Filed - To be used when a person files a civil action against a member of the agency;

 

Court - Failure to Appear – To be used when an employee fails to appear before the court after proper notification has been given.

 

  • - To be used when an employee exhibits, or is alleged to have exhibited, behavior that constitutes poor demeanor or attitude.

 

Injury – On Duty - To be used whenever an employee is injured while on duty regardless of circumstances;

 

Injury of Arrestee - To be used when an arrestee is injured or receives medical treatment as a result of the process of being arrested. An entry in this category does not presuppose that the officer acted improperly or contrary to policy or procedure

 

Internal Affairs Investigation – To be used whenever an Internal Affairs investigation has been opened and the employee is the target

 

Motor Vehicle Accident: On-Duty - To be used when an employee is involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident while on duty.  An entry in this category does not presuppose that the employee was at fault;

 

Operation/Care of Equipment - To be used when an employee fails to properly care for or damages department equipment.

 

Performance Counseling Notice (PCN) - To be used when an employee’s performance is sub-standard or not in compliance with the standards set forth by this department and training is required that needs to be documented in the form of a counseling notice. 

 

PCN - Oral Reprimand - To be used when an employee’s performance is substandard or not in compliance with the standards set forth by this department and the employee is counseled orally.  Behavioral anchors listed in the department evaluation can be used as a guide for what constitutes negative performance

 

 

PCN – Written Reprimand - To be used when an employee’s performance is sub-standard or not in compliance with the standards set forth by this department and the employee is counseled with a written notice.  Behavioral anchors listed in the department evaluation can be used as a guide for what constitutes negative performance;

 

Policy Violation - To be used when an employee violates departmental policy and none of the other categories available is appropriate

 

Resisting Arrest Charge - To be used whenever an officer charges an arrestee with resisting arrest

 

Sick Time Abuse - To be used whenever an employee utilizes a sick day improperly or for an identified pattern of sick time use

 

Sick Time Used - To be used whenever an employee utilizes an unscheduled sick day.  Entries in this category are restricted to unscheduled sick time.  Prescheduled sick leave taken for tests, scheduled surgery/procedures, etc., does not qualify under this category;

 

Use of Force Incident – To be used when the employee is involved in an incident that requires a Use of Force report to be completed.

 

Vehicle Operation – To be used when an employee operates a department vehicle on duty in an improper or unsafe manner.

 

Vehicle Pursuit Incident - To be used whenever an employee participates in a pursuit as either a primary or secondary unit as defined by department directive

 

Remedial Action

 

If the early warning system reveals a potential problem through the presence of a flag in the Guardian Tracking® software, or as identified by a supervisor, the Chief of Police or designee will gather all relevant information from the system.  A separate incident will be generated in the Guardian Tracking® software using the appropriate Early Warning Intervention Incident category. 

 

The Chief of Police will cause a review of the data provided along with more detailed information available from department records.  If this review indicates that the early warning system flag is unwarranted, the Chief of Police or designee will document this result in writing.  The incident narrative placed in the Guardian Tracking® software may serve as adequate documentation.

 

If the review reveals that an employee has violated department policies and procedures, the Chief of Police may proceed with an internal investigation, if warranted.  If the review reveals that the employee has engaged in conduct that indicates a lack of understanding or inability to comply with accepted procedures, the Chief of Police shall determine the appropriate course of remedial action.  All action taken will be documented in the Guardian Tracking® software under the previously created Early Warning Intervention Incident category.

 

Remedial intervention may include but is not limited to:

 

  1. Training

  2. Retraining

  3. Counseling

  4. Intensive supervision

  5. Fitness for duty examination

  6. Employee Assistance Program

  7. Peer counseling

 

Internal disciplinary action, remedial action, and fitness for duty examinations are not mutually exclusive and should be jointly pursued if and when appropriate.

 

When remedial action has been undertaken, the Chief of Police shall ensure that such actions are documented in writing.  No entry should be made in the employee's personnel file, unless the action results in a sustained investigation.  If the remedial action is training program attendance and successful completion of that program, it should be noted in the employee's training record.

 

The Chief of Police shall cause a review of any individual employee's history anytime a new complaint is made.  Using this information, the Chief of Police or designee may be able to identify employees who may need counseling, training or other remedial action even before such is indicated by the early warning system's ongoing data review.

 

Generally, four (4) instances of questionable conduct or flag indicators within the same six (6) month period would initiate the early warning system process.  Generally, three (3) use of force incidents within the same six (6) month period would initiate the early warning system process.  Generally, two (2) vehicle pursuit incidents within the same six (6) month period would initiate the early warning system process. 

 

Generally, personnel should expect to remain under intensive monitoring and supervision for six (6) months.

 

When under early warning system monitoring, the employee’s direct supervisor shall meet with the employee to discuss the situation in depth to:

 

  1. Identify problems or potential problems

  2. Determine short and long-term goals for improvement

  3. Come to a consensus commitment on a plan for long-term improved performance

  4. Advise of the monitoring process and the repercussions of future sustained transgressions.

 

All employee-supervisor meetings shall be thoroughly documented in the Guardian Tracking® software, which will automatically be forwarded to the Chief of Police.  The affected employee and supervisor shall meet on a regular basis, minimally monthly, to discuss progress towards the agreed upon goals and objectives.

 

All regular monthly progress/status reports shall be submitted via the Guardian Tracking® software.   

 

An additional six (6) months of documented monitoring is required following removal from an early warning system.  Monthly monitoring reports from the direct supervisor are required.

 

All reports shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police through the Guardian Tracking® software for review.  These reports have the same confidential status as Internal Affairs documents and are subject to the same disclosure and retention regulations and guidelines.

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375 Larch Avenue (Broad Street)

Bogota, NJ 07603

(201) 487-2400 or 911 (Emergencies)