Detroit PD Improves Image With Community

May 10, 2022 by Kate Nadolski

Detroit PD Improves Image With Community

Detroit PD Improves Image With Community

When the Detroit Police Department was facing Department of Justice (DOJ) Consent Decrees, they needed help.

Consent decrees are used by the federal government to force changes within police departments. The consent decrees faced by the Detroit PD were related to issues identified with use of force, arrests, witness detention and holding conditions. As such, they needed help to regain trust and improve accountability — and to eliminate the high costs of these issues.

The Challenge

$124M in Lawsuit Payouts and It Was Only Getting Worse

From 1987 to 2000, the City of Detroit paid more than $124 million in police misconduct lawsuits, averaging nearly $10 million per year.

In 2000, then-Mayor Dennis Archer requested a probe after the police were involved in 47 fatal shootings between 1995 and 2000, including six unarmed suspects. The probe resulted in two consent cecrees from the U.S. DOJ.

The first consent decree dealt with issues found in use of force, arrest, and witness detention. The second decree addressed the conditions of confinement in their holding facilities. The consent decrees forced Detroit to find solutions to these issues and carried a financial penalty until they did. Additionally, a monitor had to be paid by Detroit upwards of $2.3 million per year.

Within the consent decrees, the DOJ mandated for Detroit to implement an early intervention system (EIS).

This was a top priority for the City of Detroit, but after attempting over several years to do this internally and failing, they realized they needed outside help.

The Solution

Mitigating Risk With Agency Intelligence

To address the issues facing the department, the Detroit PD implemented Tyler Technologies’ Agency Intelligence solution to help the agency use technology to address the agency’s three primary areas of concern:

  1. Meeting the compliance of the consent decree
  2. Proactively identifying risk through examining health, wellness, and performance indicators of officers
  3. Ensuring the department’s 2,500 officer would adopt the technology efficiently and effectively

To meet the compliance of the consent decree, the early intervention system needed to identify risk factors from 36 datasets in near real time. The process Detroit had been using was arduous and often inaccurate since it relied on human intervention to replicate data. Data replication was required because critical datasets, such as use of force, were captured in paper form.

With Agency Intelligence, the department was able to digitize manual processes and form collection as well as data integration to existing systems. Once Agency Intelligence had a centralized database of officer data, that information highlighted an accurate presentation of the activities of individual officers as well as performance by district.

Now, with Agency Intelligence’s early intervention capabilities, Detroit PD supervisors can:

  • Review and approve forms
  • See team activity for traffic citations, arrests, calls for service, and overtime
  • Understand their team’s data according to demographics
  • See alerts for possible wellness or behavior issues of individual officers
  • Manage internal reviews and remediation efforts

"Agency Intelligence significantly reduced the time my officers had to spend on ‘paperwork’ and got them back to doing what they signed up for — keeping our community safe,” said Commander DeShaune Sims, 12th precinct of the Detroit PD.

The Results

Improved Accountability Significantly Reduced Lawsuits, Complaints, and Payouts

As a result of deploying Agency Intelligence, the Detroit PD experienced a decline in citizen complaints, officer use of force, lawsuits, and lawsuit payouts. In just the first year of using Agency Intelligence, the department saw a 17.5% decline in the use of force across all applicable categories. By the time Detroit entered into a consent decree transition agreement, the use of force was reduced by 22.5% across the spectrum.

In addition to the reduction intangible risk categories, the Detroit PD also had access to their complete digital dataset, enabling additional benefits such as running time keeping reporting from a single system as compared with multiple systems. It also saved officers time.

Commander Sims from Detroit’s 12th Precinct noted, “Agency Intelligence significantly reduced the time my officers had to spend on ‘paperwork’ and got them back to doing what they signed up for — keeping our community safe.”

According to the U.S. DOJ consent decree resolution, Agency Intelligence provides supervisors within the Detroit PD with the ability to identify and correct officers’ at-risk behavior.

Since implementing Agency Intelligence, the Detroit PD has experienced the following:

  • 36% reduction in citizen complaints
  • 22% reduction in the use of force
  • 62% reduction in the number of lawsuits
  • $5.1M saved in lawsuit payouts that were eliminated or won by Detroit thanks to Agency Intelligence data
  • Happier officers thanks to digitized systems

The value of Agency Intelligence for the Detroit PD goes far beyond cost savings.

“Our public image has improved dramatically,” said Commander Sims.“The community saw that we were fixing our problems and we earned back their trust.”

Detroit is now taking its efforts a step further with Agency Intelligence to provide data transparency to the community via a dashboard accessible to the public.

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