The new year is the perfect time to take a good, hard look at yourself and to make resolutions that will ensure an increase in performance and a better, healthier you.
The Lake Stevens Police Department is doing just that by hiring The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) to complete a Loaned Executive Management Assistance Program or LEMAP review.
“It’s like a performance audit to a degree,” Commander Dan Lorentzen, interim Lake Stevens Police Chief said. “They come in and evaluate your department and it’s a good thing to be done when you make a change in leadership.”
The LEMAP takes a look at the inner workings of the department including use of force, goals and objectives, training, code of conduct, evidence and property control, to name a few.
“The LEMAP is a critical and complete review of 19 major functions to determine if an agency is in line with the industries best practices and standards,” the City said in a statement. “It will identify areas in need of strengthening and highlight positive and innovative programs existing within the agency.”
The review will take place on January 30 and 31 with a six to eight week time period to write up the review’s findings before presenting them to the department and city.
The study will cost the city approximately $4,500 to complete and will help ensure that the department is working to the best of their abilities.
The department is also adopting Lexipol policy manual which is a risk management resource for public safety organizations. Lexipol includes policy manuals and integrated training and is a national provider of risk management resources for law enforcement organization.
This system promises to reduce not only the number of claims against the agency but also the severity of those claims and it helps control the decreasing budgets that are commonplace in most government agencies right now.
The department has been working from two different policies and procedures manuals sometimes creating confusion on expectations. Lexipol will not only create one policy manual but it will also help the LSPD become reaccredited.
“This is what we need to take the department to the next step,” Lorentzen explained. “A lot of the officers and staff are really excited about this.”
“We want to make sure we are doing best practice,” Lake Stevens City Administrator Jan Berg said. “This way we can have up-to-date best practice in place and one policies and procedures manual.”
Positive public opinion and transparency of the department are both of vital importance to the city and the department.
“Our goal is to have an open book so the public knows what is going on,” Berg said. “It’s about all of us working together and moving forward.”
Lorentzen knows that by creating a best practices policy it will also create a positive working environment that both the officers and the community can be proud of.
“We want the public to have confidence in their police department,” he said. “I want people to be proud of this organization.”