Lewiston Police Department's new program strives for transparency
It’s a system called I-A Pro that stands for Internal Affairs Program. It takes all the reports that officers would file on a daily basis that would normally collect dust in the filing cabinet and puts it all at their fingertips. But that’s not all, it allows the department to track what’s going on with the officers. But the benefits aren’t only for the department.
"These date all the way back to 1980," said Chief Chris Ankeny.
Lewiston Police Chief Chris Ankeny is talking about filing cabinets. They have internal investigations and other important documents all on paper that the department has no way of compiling and searching until now.
"It takes that information and then puts it into a data base,” said Ankeny, “So then we can then search that information."
Chief Ankeny is describing the process of the new system called I-A Pro. One of the most important features is an interactive system that allows officers to input information like incident reports, use of weapons and more. It also allows for the public’s complaints and reports to be filed and tracked liked never before.
"And if they want to file a formal complaint, we will track that through this program,” said Ankeny. “It gives us the ability not only to compile how many complaints are filed against an officer but the totality of the complains for the entire department, what are our problems and what we can do to improve and so forth."
It also tracks information about each officer, compliments from the public, awards and even use of force and accidents.
"The department never looked at accidents to project if there's any issues going on that officer’s life,” said Ankeny.
With all the reports compiled they can see if there is a pattern with an officer.
"It forces us to look at what are the underlying issues here,” said Ankeny. “Is there an alcohol problem, Is there a problem at home. Things that we can sit down and talk to them about and try to figure out remedies and ways of fixing those problems.
But what Chief Ankeny said is most important is that this will increase the awareness of their officer’s interactions with the public.
"Policing is changing,” said Ankeny. “And, you know, the need for the community to have openness and transparency is important. It's important to our agency, it's important to me."
LPD is currently training all employees to use the system and it will be fully up and running on April first.