A Case for Early Intervention Systems in Law Enforcement Agencies




Webb, Daniel

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



The actions of law enforcement officers are under a tremendous amount of scrutiny in our society today. Communities expect their law enforcement agencies to act in a professional manner at all times, and rightfully so. However, law enforcement officers can fall prey to the stress of the job and the stress of trying to achieve a work-life balance. There is a solution that can help identify problematic behavior in law enforcement officers before it results in an action that can cause the officer, the agency, and community harm. This solution is an early intervention system (EIS), therefore all law enforcement agencies should implement early intervention systems. An EIS can serve as a potential “warning” to the agency that the officer may be experiencing difficulty. An EIS uses established types of incidents as indicators of potential issues as well as thresholds of those incidents, that when combined, create an alert when the officer has exceeded the established threshold. Once this occurs, most often it is the responsibility of the direct supervisor to review the incidents to determine what type of intervention, if any, is necessary. This process can increase integrity within the law enforcement agency and also increase accountability both internally and externally. This can help reinforce good culture within a department, change a bad culture within a department, and also send a message to the community that the department is proactively trying to prevent negative issues from ever occurring. While there is no guarantee that all negative incidents will be eliminated, an EIS is a valuable tool that can go a long way in attempting to reach that goal and ultimately help the agency better serve its community.


Police Misconduct, Police--Personnel Management