Increasing numbers of law enforcement agencies are adopting early intervention systems to alert leaders of policy violations, enhance employee conduct, and save careers. However, law enforcement academies have not been mandated by legislation to deploy such systems the way local law enforcement agencies have been and are frequently missing out on the benefits of early intervention and cadet conduct tools.
With law enforcement agencies around the country looking to hire and shore up staffing levels, getting cadets through the academy is more important than ever. Unfortunately, not every cadet who attends an academy will graduate. Just as it can improve recruiting and retention at the agency level, early intervention can also support improving graduation rates at the academy.
Early intervention systems often include automated flagging of activities, allowing instructors and supervisors to preemptively address issues before they result in dismissal.
When implemented at an academy, early intervention systems can standardize processes when addressing inappropriate or concerning behavior, ensuring every instance is handled consistently, thoroughly, and fairly. In doing so, academies can reduce occurrences of such behavior while also demonstrating to cadets you are invested in their success by providing coaching or additional support when needed.
Additionally, early intervention systems that document a holistic view of every cadet will offer functionality to document positives in addition to the negatives. By also documenting kudos and other noteworthy performance, academies can ensure exemplary achievements are recognized, offering a powerful motivator to further engage and complete the program.
Incorporating early intervention with a training management system (TMS) allows for a nuanced academy experience that better meets student needs. Individuals who need extra support are identified, while those who demonstrate exceptional performance are recognized. Nothing slips through the cracks because an instructor forgets to send an email or doesn’t share concerns or positive feedback with the right person.
By quickly addressing adverse conduct and offering commendation where deserved, instructors and academy leadership can foster a positive learning environment for all cadets.
Like many things, early intervention only works if it’s supported wholeheartedly by leadership. From training cadre, program managers, and academy leadership, early intervention works best when participation is high and every leader commits to utilizing it.
Setting goals and communicating them consistently is vital to a successful early intervention framework.
Training cadre are often the ’glue’ that cements the leadership’s vision because supervisors must embrace and reinforce the vision the cadets should embody.
To help instructors and senior management effectively monitor cadets in early intervention efforts, they must have access to a performance management system that provides them access to every employee’s records, allows records to be disseminated as needed, and archives them in a secure environment.
A smart performance management system also helps an academy maintain legally defensible data in a secure environment and provide those records promptly if required.
As crucial as training and performance record keeping and monitoring are in early intervention, successful programs essentially rely on your people. Candid communication involves more than just instruction and mentoring.
The most successful intervention programs involve effective two-way communication and the willingness to listen, whether peer to peer or cadet to instructor. They include transparent communication, clear objectives, and strong and accountable leadership. An early intervention tool adds tremendous value for an academy, but its success relies on people.
To learn more about how an early intervention system can benefit your agency, please request a demo today.