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April
13
2010
Fort Smith, Arkansas, Chief Meets Community Challenges with IACP Net

FROM THE NET WORKS NEWSLETTER, FALL 2010, VOL. 26, NO. 2

  • I have described this as a ‘must-have’ to fellow chiefs – you can’t put a price on your ability to network on IACP Net.
  • Chief Kevin Lindsey
    Fort Smith, Arkansas, Police Department

When Chief Kevin Lindsey joined the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Police Department, he brought IACP Net with him.

“When I was a captain in a small community in 1991, purchasing IACP Net was a no-brainer,” said Chief Kevin Lindsey. “Things have changed since then, but IACP Net has stayed with me. I really like IACP Net’s new format — it’s straightforward and easy to use.”

Connect with Community

Since signing on as chief at Fort Smith in January 2007, Lindsey focused on customer service with his department of 165 officers. “Because of our emphasis on customer service, we have a large amount of support from the community,” said Chief Lindsey. “Officers go out and spend time in the community, winning us that support.”

Connecting with Fort Smith’s neighborhoods, however, is no small task. Fort Smith, population 81,000, is a blue-collar municipality, bordered on three sides by the Arkansas River. “Since October 2008, we’ve been challenged as a jurisdiction — there has been prostitution and run-down houses in residential areas,” said the chief.

Chief Lindsey utilizes IACP Net to research and report back about delicate political issues such as the department’s relationship with local immigrants. “Immigration is generally a political issue, but we still have to have a very good relationship with local immigration agencies,” he noted. “With IACP Net, I can research other departments dealing with immigration and report back to the board. I’m able to confirm the soundness of our actions using IACP Net.”

Recruit, Retain, Succeed

Despite the department’s standing in the community, Chief Lindsey and his staff still face challenges well known in law enforcement, including recruitment and retention. “Retention and hiring is always an issue — we’ve taken a new tack with the latest recruitment ads and are always looking for more sworn, due to an uptick in residents,” he said. “We get attrition through retirement or promotion to state and federal agencies. I would never stand in the way of that, but it creates difficulties.”

In response to this difficulty, Chief Lindsey used IACP Net to research and develop a succession plan for the department — preparing for the loss of officers and executives. “We have had no succession plan in the past, no strategy for continuation,” noted the chief. “I use the research function extensively in IACP Net for materials and articles related to succession planning.”

Networking Through the Net

Chief Lindsey strongly recommends IACP Net to law enforcement executives. “I have described this as a ‘must-have’ to fellow chiefs — you can’t put a price on your ability to network on IACP Net. It’s so much easier to go in and start up a conversation. I often offer to have chiefs come in for a small IACP Net demo, so they can see for themselves.”

You don’t have to know Chief Lindsey personally to try IACP Net yourself — simply call 800.227.9640 to schedule a site demo and 24 hours of free access to IACP Net.

“I know IACP Net continues to grow, and I can’t say enough about how valuable it’s been,” said Chief Lindsey. “It’s so easy.”

Making sure IACP Net stays in the department’s budget every year is a priority for Chief Lindsey “It’s such a small percentage of your budget — even if it costs more than it does now, its value would far exceed the cost.”

[Editor’s Note: Chief Lindsey is no longer with the Fort Smith Police Department. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.]