Wednesday, April 18, 2007

LPD around the country

There's an airline ticket laying on my desk for a trip to Blacksburg, VA on Sunday, May 6. I met Virginia Tech's Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Zenobia Hikes , a couple months ago. After attending a presentation I conducted, she asked me if I could come to Virginia Tech at the University's expense to share my experience with strategies to reduce high-risk drinking by college students, gained in the past nine years as the co-chair of NU Directions. I will be surprised if the session still occurs, in light of this weeks tragedy. If it isn't cancelled, it will be a tall order for me to deliver my usual shtik under the circumstances.

Nonetheless, other police departments can learn a lot from LPD, as we also learn from them. We host a fair number of visits and field a lot of inquires from other police departments at the Lincoln Police Department. Here's a few examples from last week and the very recent past.

Several inquiries came from around the country lately as the most recent edition of The Police Chief has hit desks. It's the most read publication in policing, and touches a big audience. We've had calls about this idea from the police departments in Seattle, Washington and Gainesville, Florida. That's about as coast-to-coast as you can get. LPD Capt. Jim Thoms actually ran our day shift roll-call with the Gainesville police chief and several of his staff joining in from their conference room.

Wednesday, Sgt. Gregg Ladislaw of the Alexandria, VA Police contacted us. Alexandria, a department of exactly our size in a city of just over half our population, is reorganizing along geographic lines, similar to our Team concept. He had heard from his colleague and my friend, Crime Analysis Supervisor Mary Garrand, that this is how we work in Lincoln. He is looking for information about how we evaluate officers. I sent him the forms, general orders, and such, and put him in touch with LPD Capt. Brian Jackson for more information.

As an aside, the 800+ member Oakland, CA Police Department is also reorganizing along the lines of the Lincoln Police Department. The press release on Oakland's "new" approach is eerily similar to the article that ran in the Lincoln Star on 11-22-1975, announcing the Lincoln Police Department's implementation of a geographic team concept.

Someone at the Portland, Maine Police Department learned about our Internal Home Page--a collection of Internet and Intranet resources that in the past decade has become the primary portal into LPD's vast information resources.

Apparently, one of their staff members attended a seminar I conducted on the topic of leveraging Internet and Intranet technology for police information systems. I only learned about this when a reporter from the Portland Herald called me for some comments. Thursday, Andrew Robitaille from the Lewiston, Maine PD emailed me for some material on this same subject. Sounds like a light bulb has gone on in the Northeast United States!

Lt. Tim Hegerty of the Riley County Police (Manhattan, KS) also emailed me Thursday. He's looking for some advice on implementing crime mapping and GIS at their department, and apparently our name surfaced as a good resource. This is an area where we have quite a reputation, and I probably average two or three contacts from other police departments on this topic every month. I sent him to the Riley County GIS Coordinator first, then to the Kansas State University Geography Department. You always want to start by looking in your own back yard.

I think it's great when other agencies pilfer our materials and ideas--just as we have done from other departments ourselves. We're all about sharing. Here's a great example: The Lincoln Police Department Field Training Program is well-known by all of our officers, and an integral part of our organization. It was lifted shamelessly from Sgt. Glenn Kaminsky at the San Jose, CA police department, circa 1976 by Lincoln Police Lt. Jon Briggs. He went to a training session in San Jose, and came back with the works: the daily observation reports, the standardized evaluation guidelines, the FTO training curricula. Thousands of U.S. police departments owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Kaminsky, who freely shared the seeds that sprouted in almost every police flower pot.

Trading good ideas and not reinventing the wheel is a great tradition in policing.


L.C. said...

I think Lincoln is very lucky to have a Police Department like we do. I see the Chief's post at 4:27 A.M.

Anonymous said...

This information sharing is a great idea. Wow we are filled with amazement and wonder.