In light of the fallout from the Minneapolis incident, I believe that Personnel Data Mining Information (PDMI) is more important than ever! As a retired Asst. Chief of Police, I know the value of being proactive and/or mitigating the possibility of non-peaceful demonstrations.
Minneapolis + Covid-19(Stress / Anxiety / Exhaustion) = Poor Performance (Mind / Body / Spirit) & Mental Health Issues
Benefits to Police Chiefs / Sheriffs:
- Increases the level of trust between the department and the community it serves
- Lessens department liability
- Provides a holistic view of employee “wellness”
- Training can be developed to meet individual / group needs
- Better performing employees (based on focused training)
- Search parameters can be set by department
- WE HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO OUR OFFICERS AND OUR COMMUNITIES!
An Early Intervention System (EIS) is a supervisory tool used in police departments to monitor officer performance via administrative data. Unfortunately, previously developed, more traditional EIS models have not been very successful in identifying officers who need mental health support. The standard practice across the country is to monitor a small set of “on-duty” indicators, such as use of force incidents, citizen complaints and vehicle collisions, and flag an officer when the count of these indicators exceeds a pre-set threshold. Other factors that might be included in the “on-duty” assessment include current / past assignments, attendance history, and commendations.
The typical officer spends 25% of his/her weekly life “on-duty” (40 of 168 weekly hours). How accurate can an Early Intervention System be if only 25% of the available data is being considered? What if we were able to add a portion of the 75% of time the officer spends “off-duty?” Including items such as:
Top 5 (Non-Performance Related) Reasons
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officers Fail*
- Addictive Issues – Alcohol, Opioids, Gambling, Sex, Porn, Love, Drama etc.
- Mental Health/Brain related Issues – Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar, ADD/ADHD, OCD
- Health Issues – Weight, Diet, Exercise, Sleep, Pain Management, ODE
- Personality-Behavior Issues – Ego-narcissism, Immaturity, Victim, Anger, Control, Esteem
- Family-Relationship Issues – Marriage, Infidelity, Divorce, Parenting, Financial
*Captain Brian Nanavaty (Ret.) – Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department – Health & Wellness Survey
This “off-duty” data must be combined with the “on-duty” data to get a full picture of an officer’s mental fitness. Much of this data is available from public record sources so there is no violation of confidentiality in using the data to develop “fitness” models and assign “fitness” scores. These scores can be used to segment all of the agency’s officers by the type of intervention/training they would benefit from without directly confronting them on their issues.
This segmentation is similar to a credit score where different financial options are offered based on our financial “fitness”. While agency command and union staff would not likely be aware of an officer’s credit score, we do know that “off-duty” financial issues/debt are contributing factors to stress/anxiety which does impact their “on-duty” performance.
As a leader, I believe that we have a moral obligation to provide the best possible preventive / proactive mental health care / training available. To do otherwise is inexcusable. How effective would our crime-fighting strategies be if we only considered 25% of the available crime data? If we continue to consider only 25% of an officer’s life, we will continue to see 200+ documented suicides a year.