New software to track problem officers

CITY HALL — A new software program will allow the Police Department to better track officer misconduct reports as the command staff continues to carry out Chief Ron De Pompa’s zero tolerance policy.

The internal affairs tracking system — part of larger software conversion that also will track work hours and other personnel matters — will establish an early-warning system for problem employees by tracking the number of reported misconducts and notifying administrators so they can intervene, said Capt. Ray Edey of the department’s Administrative Services Division.

“It’s become crystal clear that we have to watch for patterns very closely with personnel matters,” he said.

Officials have confirmed that at least six police officers have been put on leave. City officials are investigating claims that some officers took a patrol car on a joy ride to Las Vegas, and that another officer had an affair with the estranged wife of a man he arrested. Another off-duty officer was allegedly involved in a road-rage incident in Burbank.

De Pompa’s zero tolerance policy for police misconduct prompted administrators to look for more efficient methods to keep tabs on any “bad apples in the department,” Edey said.

The Internal Affairs Division traditionally maintained manual logs and basic databases to monitor personnel issues, he added.

But that method hasn’t always been effective in catching behavior patterns, Edey said.

The IA-PRO program, created by CI Technologies Corporation, will look for patterns and send out red flags for employees, he said.

New software will also allow officers to monitor their work hours, sign up for overtime details, view upcoming events and request vacation time from home, said Lt. Brian Cohen.

The program will also automatically call officers to fill positions on filming projects or major disasters, Cohen said. That feature will refocus employee work time and should eliminate errors made by manually processing paperwork.

“We think it’s going to pay for itself immediately,” Cohen said.

The staffing management and internal affairs tracking systems — approved by the City Council on Tuesday — will be paid for through the Police Department’s asset forfeitures funds.

A separate $1.43-million project to update dispatch and records management systems also was approved. The bill included the cost of hiring a temporary project manager to convert the department, according to a city report.

Adopting the system won’t be without risk, since it’s new, Edward Fraga, the city’s information services director.

The software company has agreed to give the Police Department significant incentives, according to city reports.

The dispatch system manages calls for service and police response while the records program stores all official documents, including criminal history and crime reports.

Updating the system could allow the department to establish its own regional police dispatch center in 2012 and provide radio services to other agencies, according the city report.

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