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Early Intervention Systems

Early Intervention Systems for Law Enforcement AgenciesEarly intervention systems (EIS) are an important new police accountability tool. They are a required reform in all of the Justice Department consent decrees and settlement agreements. EIS are designed to identify officers with patterns of problematic performance and then subject each officer to an intervention designed to correct his or her performance.

An EIS is a computerized data base of police officer performance indicators, including uses of force, citizen complaints, arrests, traffic stops, officer discipline records, use of sick leave, and others. Each department (or the negotiated consent decree) can determine how many and which indicators to incorporate into its system.

Each EIS system utilizes a formula for identifying officers with patterns of problematic conduct. A peer officer comparison system is widely used. In this approach, officers are identified because they have higher number or problematic indicators than other officers working the same assignment.

Interventions to improve officer performance can include counseling by supervisors about the officer’s performance, retraining on areas of police conduct where a problem seems to exist, or professional counseling to address an officer’s personal problems (e.g., substantive abuse, family issues).

Read Sam Walker’s three reports on EIS for the U.S. Justice Department:

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READ: The LASD Special Counsel’s Evaluation of the LASD’s PPI:

Early Intervention Systems are extremely complex administrative tools. Making them work effectively requires close and continuing attention to many administrative details. For many years the Personnel Performance Index (PPI) in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has been regarded as one of the best EIS in the country. Read the 2009 report on the PPI by the Special Counsel to the LASD regarding its effectiveness and important administrative details. LASDPPIPARC

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READ: Walker, Alpert and Kenney’s Evaluation of EIS in Three Police Departments:

Read Walker, Alpert and Kenney’s 2001 DOJ evaluation of EIS (we called them early warning systems in those days)  in three police departments (Minneapolis, Miami-Dade, New Orleans). NIJEW