Portable records: A vital component of maintaining the integrity of the law enforcement profession

The high standards put in place to become—and remain—a police officer in the United States reflect your profession’s commitment to the law, public safety, and the community and nation you serve.

And as a leader in your organization, you’ve accepted the challenge of overseeing and guiding your agency’s transformation into a workplace grounded in excellence and integrity.

In recent years, police agencies have experienced higher than average turnover in staff, for several reasons.

  • The pandemic, unexpected family obligations, and incentives offered by outside agencies, for example, have led many officers to leave their positions, with many of them relocating to new states.
  • In a much smaller number of cases, calls for greater police accountability, as well as personnel decisions made with the help of early intervention systems, have resulted in the dismissal of officers.

Turnover is always disruptive: the momentum a departing officer built within your organization is lost, you’re forced to replace them, and training new hires is time-intensive and costly. But as the staffing dynamics of policing change, so does the need to adjust practices that ensure professional integrity is upheld.

Central to accomplishing this objective are the records individual agencies keep—and share.

Portable records safeguard the profession on a large scale

As a readiness-focused organization, you already understand many of the benefits of a comprehensive, technology-based solution to the deep documentation running your law enforcement agency requires:

  • Elimination of barriers to access and potential loss and error caused by “siloed”>” legacy systems.
  • Automated flagging of missing documentation, gaps in training, and opportunities for early intervention.
  • The ability to make make important decisions based on data, not impressions or estimates.
  • The ability to share critical documentation with other agencies and organizations—like your state’s POST—as needed.

It’s this last point, sharing data on a candidate for an officer position, that really gives recordkeeping power on a profession-wide scale. Solid, digitally-transferable documentation helps any agency considering one of your officers for a job gain a full understanding of their training, qualifications, and contributions to your agency—as well as any disciplinary incidents or other areas of concern.

Conversely, as more agencies adopt the portable documentation model, potential hires into your organization will also be attached to a complete and transparent record, available for your review. While losing good officers to other agencies is never desirable, when it does happen, making sure they’re the right fit contributes to an overall improvement in hiring practices across the board.

In addition, portable recordkeeping detects “wandering” or “nomad” officers (fired officers seeking jobs in other jurisdictions), preventing them from being hired at agencies that are otherwise unaware of their track record.

The Acadis® Readiness Suite, in fact, is the only software solution that automatically and seamlessly provides relevant documentation to the National Decertification Index (NDI) for this purpose.

Comprehensive recordkeeping nationwide

For more than two decades, the NDI, maintained by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST), has sought to be the “data hub” that manages shared documentation of decertified officers in an accurate, secure database available only to authorized law enforcement leaders. The NDI accepts decertification updates from police agencies across the country and shares that information with hiring authorities, all free of charge.

Professional law enforcement organizations, law enforcement leaders, and lawmakers are working to make participation in the NDI mandatory by all states, in addition to creating a common set of standards for which incidents warrant decertification.

By actively participating in the NDI and providing complete and timely entries as appropriate, agencies strengthen the integrity of the law enforcement profession. Embrace the standards and practices of portable documentation to help pave the way for an effective NDI that strengthens your recruiting and hiring practices and helps prevent costly hiring mistakes.

Want to learn more about the NDI?

Posted on Feb 3, 2022