NOPD Lauded for New System That Detects Faulty Cop Practices

NOPD Lauded for New System That Detects Faulty Cop Practices

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U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan, the federal judge overseeing the 492-point NOPD consent decree aimed at implementing reforms that bring the troubled police department up to federal standards for constitutional policing, on Aug. 31 praised the department for utilizing a new system that raises a red flag whenever it detects questionable behavior that could lead to a member of the force becoming a problem officer, Nola.com reported.

Morgan, who has presided over the federally mandated consent decree since its beginning and selected the federal monitor after City of New Orleans and U.S. Department of Justice officials failed to agree on a finalist to oversee implementation of the consent decree, praised the NOPD’s use of the “INSIGHT” program during the Aug. 31 public hearing.

The judge also said Aug. 31 that at the NOPD’s previous lack of an early warning system to detect problematic behaviors and practices had garnered it criticism among criminal justice experts and judicial officials.

The NOPD launched the technology component of “INSIGHT,” which came with a $4 million price tag, in November 2016. The warning system gathers data about individual police officers — including complaints, whether a lawsuit had been filed against an officer and even if the officer’s job performance led to a positive report from a member of the community — in order to allow NOPD supervisors to monitor the performances and practices of patrol cops. The system triggers an alert when complaints, sick leave or positive reports begin to accumulate.

Jonathan Aronie, who heads the Washington, DC-based firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, which Judge Morgan selected in 2013 to serve as federal monitor for the NOPD consent decree, said he is hopeful that rank-and-file officers will embrace the new system and added that INSIGHT is not about disciplining officers. He said the system is designed to “flag” officers for commendable work and when used properly can ensure that officers stay on track and avoid being disciplined.

The NOPD had an early warning system in the 1990s but it required an extensive 32 hours of training and was eventually abandoned.

Prior to the implementation of the NOPD consent decree began in August 2013, the NOPD had sought to revitalize an early wring system it had previously operated to no avail.

NOPD officials said last month that the INSIGHT requires only eight hours of training and that training sessions will kick off at the end of 2017.

Training will teach NOPD supervisors not only how to analyze and interpret data that reveals patterns of inappropriate behavior but also how to determine what kind of interventions will become necessary and appropriate when those patters are detected.

Aronie said that some warning signs might only require a conversation between a supervisor and individual officer while others may warrant more serious interventions like a formal warning or counseling.

He said that the system is designed to nip problems in the bud before an individual officer’s behavior continues or escalates to became a more serious problem.

Aronie told Nola.com that it might take a while for NOPD officers to understand that the INSIGHT warning system is designed to benefit and serve the best interests of officers, as well as the community and NOPD supervisors as opposed to punishing them.

He said skeptics may not buy into INSIGHT until they witness for themselves how the early warning system’s flagging “save(s) someone’s career.”