Early warning

Personnel performance system helps LASD monitor trends in officer performance and identify officers at risk - before they get into serious trouble

  • Misuse of force allegations in administrative investigations are associated with a higher average number of shootings, lawsuits and civil claims.
  • Citizen's complaints alleging "unreasonable force" are associated with higher levels of "founded" administrative investigations.
  • The likelihood of finding officers whose truthfulness and candor has been or will be questioned grows as the number of "unresolved" findings rise.
  • Allegations in administrative investigations including "performance to standards," "derogatory language," "absence," "false statements" and "Policy of Equality" allegations had particularly noteworthy relationships to higher levels of other potentially problematic behavior.

   According to the report, these examples indicate that the PPI is functioning as it was intended.

Adapting to change

   In writing reports, PARC suggests how the LASD can improve. Gerhardt says, "We take each of their recommendations and comments and evaluate them as a department at many different levels to determine whether they are going to be implemented."

   The PPI isn't the same as it was when it first became operational 13 years ago. As policies change, the PPI changes. A traffic collision policy changed a few years ago. "They used to be handled with discipline and now they are handled through non-disciplinary corrective action," Gerhardt explains "The PPI had to be modified to absorb that change. As PPI users identify areas where it can be improved upon, it is. Different reports may be generated. Different fields may be added."

   Because the PPI has been operational since 1997, Gerhardt says, "I think employees understand its purpose and realize it's something that's not detrimental to their work performance. They have access to the information regarding themselves within the PPI, so it's not a secret. I think the PPI has become part of the department."

   Rebecca Kanable is a freelance writer specializing in law enforcement topics. She can be reached at kanable@charter.net.

  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to Officer.com. To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.