Memo for fiscal year 2020, updated 2019-02-26

[Archived] Question #20: Can you please provide an overall update as to the implementation of the recommendations of the IACP staffing study?


Can you please provide an overall update as to the implementation of the recommendations of the IACP staffing study? (Mayor Wilson)


The following is a list of recommendations from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) staffing study conducted in 2016 and the status of their implementation presented by functional area starting with Patrol Operations.


Primary Recommendations

The study determined that the obligated workload of Patrol Officers was between 33.42% - 34.56%, which exceed the 30.00% target.  It also recommended that 43.09% of Alexandria Police Department (APD) workforce be assigned to Patrol.  With total sworn personnel at 312.00 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), the assigned Patrol strength of 136 FTEs is at the recommended level of 43.09%.  In the FY 2019 Approved Budget, a total of 6.00 Officers were added to the Traffic Safety Section to help reduce the 30.00% obligated workload of Patrol Officers and reduce the crash investigation workload.

Minimum staffing levels are addressed in APD’s Standard Operating Procedure 5.0, Staffing and Leave Policy.  No more than 30.00% of the total number of Officers assigned to each shift is off at one time.

The IACP study encouraged the APD to ensure Officers have adequate time to engage in the community-policing model.  This is addressed within the APD’s 21st Century Policing Plan, as well as ongoing review of Officer’s workload by their Supervisors.

The APD is dedicated to community policing and making this a top priority.  The COPS Office is running a Teen Law Enforcement Academy to encourage education of police related topics and building relationships with the youth in the community.  This is the second year of its existence.  Delivery meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas time; the Christmas gifts to the children; law enforcement night at Nationals Park are all ways to engage the community.   All these activities are placed on an events calendar readily available to Patrol Officers and encourage Patrol Officers to be a part of community events.  The philosophy is that all policing is Community Oriented Policing not limited to a specialized unit.

Additional references include:

  1. APD 21st Century Policing Plan
  2. CAT 21 Meeting Minutes
  3. APD Strategic Plans:

Officers are deployed to calls for service based on priority of call type and location.  This is accomplished through the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.  Officers are encouraged and responsible for regular community engagement which is monitored by their Supervisor and workload assessments.

Secondary Recommendations

It was recommended that APD seek authorization for over-hires.  Even though the APD was allotted 30.00 over-hire vacancies in FY 2019, only 26.00 over-hire vacancies needed to be utilized to reduce the operational impact of separations.  Furthermore, APD maintains ongoing recruitment and holds an average of two recruitment events per month.

During the initial recommendation period, the Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU) was staffed by 1.50 FTE.  Shortly after the IACP recommendation, larceny from autos was added to the TRU workload.  However, the moving of the additional activity to TRU has been put on hold due to the Unit only having 1.00 FTE to handle the workload at this time.   The part time worker is vacant and APD is in the process of hiring a part-time employee. The TRU handles Calls for Service where there are no identifying suspect information and the offense likely occurred more than one hour prior to receiving the call.

Modifications were made to the work schedule to reflect the IACP recommendations.  This included adding a permanent evening shift to the Patrol schedule and reducing the shift hours from 12.00 to 11.50 hours.  This shift modification occurred on January 14, 2017.

Officer activity reports were enhanced in 2018 with the use of CAD and internal technology systems.  Supervisors are now able to track report time, community policing efforts and activity relating to calls for service. This allows both the Supervisor and APD to better assess the efforts of the Officers and address any deficiencies an Officer may have in his or her workload.

IACP’s recommendation was to revise the mission of the Motors Unit to include primary response to motor vehicle crashes.  In 2017, the Motors Unit was reorganized to the Traffic Safety Section (TSS) and became the primary responders to motor vehicle crashes and traffic safety around the City.

The study recommended that an additional 6.00 Officers be added to this Unit.  In January 2019, a total of 6.00 Officers were hired to the Traffic Safety Section for a grand total of 14.00 active Officers in the Unit.

Additional references include:

  1. Traffic Safety Plan
  2. Vision Zero

Overresponse to calls for service was a concern during the IACP analysis.  With the assistance of the improved officer activity reports, Supervisors are better able to review and determine if overresponse occurs.  Additionally, Supervisors have been trained to be alert and watchful of Calls for Service and remove units that are not needed.


Primary Recommendations

Maintain Investigations Staffing for Criminal Investigations Section (CIS), Prioritize Investigations Staffing, Revisit Staffing for Vice/Narcotics

The IACP study found that CIS demands were met by the 45 assigned detectives.  This unit currently has 7.00 vacancies due to retirements, promotions and some transfers.  The process to fill those vacancies is currently underway.

The IACP analysis recommended that additional detectives may be needed in Vice/Narcotics to run that unit efficiently and safely.   APD will conduct a workload analysis prior to assigning more detectives to Vice/Narcotics. A determination on whether or not to request additional resources and expand the unit will be made after that analysis is completed.

Additional references include:

  1. Reference FY18.19 Strategic Plan:

IACP noted a lack of consistency in monitoring case timelines and a lack of clarity.  Supervisors are responsible for ensuring open cases are reviewed by Detectives every 30 days. Supplemental reports document investigative actions taken during these 30 days.  Supervisors are also able to monitor case load of their Detectives by utilizing the Records Management System (RMS). Training on the full use of this technology system is in the planning phase.

Secondary Recommendations

IACP recommended that the reporting process integrate and record the presence of solvability factors. The current RMS does capture these factors.  Additionally, a Supervisor reviews the factors before assigning the case over to a Detective.

IACP recommended that APD maintain consistent capacity to conduct electronic forensic investigations.  This was completed with the reorganization of the Technical Investigation Section.  Additionally, one Computer Forensic Examiner position (1.00 FTE) was added to this section.

IACP recommended the addition of a Supervisory position in the Domestic Violence (DV) Unit, which was created and filled.  A supervisor was assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit which falls under the Crimes Against Persons Unit in CIS.

Regarding IACP’s recommendation of the implementation of Lethality Assessment Protocols (LAP), the APD and City Domestic Violence Attorneys found that APD’s current protocols are more in-depth and comprehensive and are able to be implemented quickly.

Supplemental Recommendations

IACP recommended a thorough analysis of the record-keeping practices regarding individual officer training, advocating for a process that engages leadership opportunities, mentorship, and mandatory community policing training.

The Training and Staff Development Section have addressed these issues.  First with a proposed automated training management program that helps track individual training records.  Manual efforts have also been made so that physical copies of completed training records are stored.

This section announces various opportunities for training in leadership.  An example includes a newly developed 30-day Sergeant training process that helps to promote success for Officers moving to their first managerial position.  Leadership training is also being developed on three different levels, from the executive level to patrol level by the Training Section.

Regarding mentoring, the APD Mentorship Program is in development, this program will offer new Officers the unique opportunity to be assigned a mentor.  This type of program will greatly aid new Officers by assisting them with guidance and instruction during those first and very critical months of employment.  Additionally, a female specific mentorship program is also in development.

APD is pursuing a grant to provide subject matter experts, in the area of mentorship and officer wellness, to provide customized training and technical assistance to agencies across the United States. This Mentorship Program will build on APD’s on-going program to provide mentorship to new and existing employees.

Presently, this program focuses on new officer recruits.  At the hiring of a new recruit/officer, they are assigned to the New Police Officer Training Unit in which the assigned sergeant in that unit guides them through-out the process of hiring, pre-Academy training, Academy training and then the first year as an officer with the department.  This guidance prepares them for a career in law enforcement as well as builds a camaraderie among the officer that stays throughout their careers.

Additional References:

  1. FY18.19 Strategic Plan:
  2. APD 21st Century Policing Plan

IACP recommended that an internal analysis of sworn personnel be conducted to determine whether specialized Units should remain intact, supplemented and/or reduced.  The Department addressed this through several reorganizations.  In FY 2019, the APD switched from four bureaus to two bureaus, this switch allowed for sworn personnel in the supporting Units to be transferred back to the Field Operations Bureau, this Bureau includes, the School Resource Officer, K9, Motors, CSI and Parking and Hack.

IACP recommended merging these Units because of similar missions.  This was accomplished in the reorganization and both are now part of the Community Relations Division.

Additional References:

  1. FY18.19 Strategic Plan:
  2. Community Relations Division:

Though the IACP noted good communication throughout the Department, some concern was raised about line-level Supervisors having a strong voice with those at command levels.  The Chief of Police routinely encourages open and honest communication.  The Chief accomplishes this with an open-door policy and address question and concerns from all levels within the department.  This has encouraged line-level Supervisors to have a strong voice when communicating with those at the command levels.

The IACP analysis did not review the staffing of the Crime Analysis Unit but suggested internal review to determine if staffing levels were appropriate.  With review of the Unit, one Crimes Analyst (1.00 FTE) is planned to be added to this Unit.

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