FROM THE NET WORKS NEWSLETTER, FALL 2008, VOL. 24, NO. 3
[Editor’s Note: Matthew Reed has been promoted to Chief of Police of the South Windsor Police Department since this article was written.]
We’re not alone with the issue of recruiting officers,” noted Commander Matthew Reed of South Windsor, Connecticut, Police Services. “It’s a national law enforcement issue. Is the best way to attract candidates really to put an $1,800 ad in the newspaper? IACP Net helped us shed light on this common question.”
IACP Net Focuses the Choices You Make
The possibilities for attracting good candidates in South Windsor (pop. 25,000) seemed endless — advertising on college campuses, campaigning nationally, and offering signing bonuses were options. Instead of trying out various alternatives — and wasting his time and energy — Commander Reed scoured IACP Net’s databases and Quest-Response Service for the best options available.
“Signing bonuses turned out to be an interesting possibility,” recalled Reed. “Normally if you presented the idea of a $5,000 or $10,000 signing bonus to the town council, they’d look at you like you had three heads — we already offer a competitive salary. IACP Net allowed us to back up the idea with solid information on the issue without leafing through years of publications for articles. They were all right there.”
The meeting didn’t result in the department implementing a signing bonus, but it did allow the latitude needed in the bargaining unit agreement to increase starting salaries for officers with experience. “It’s a first step,” said Reed.
IACP Net Keeps You Current with Technology
Commander Reed also uses IACP Net to stay current with new and existing technologies. As a department that uses TASER® products, South Windsor is particularly vulnerable to controversy. “Anytime there’s a new article about TASER, I go to IACP Net and do a search,” said Reed.
“IACP Net is a lens for viewing the police world,” noted Reed, who is also an attorney in Connecticut. “It’s important for law enforcement administrators to see the state of modern law enforcement. If we are acting in a manner not in accordance with modern policing methods, then we could face legal challenges — particularly if methods, training, or equipment are such that an officer or citizen is harmed.”
Reed’s IACP Net use moves beyond the legal issues surrounding electronic weapons. There are also always technological upgrades to be made. For example, the commander recently queried the Quest-Response Service to find the latest iteration of South Windsor’s digital in-car recorder operating platform. “I took the results to support services and asked ‘do we have this platform?’ Without IACP Net, I would never have known about the issue,” he said.
IACP Net Finds You Funding
At 43 sworn, South Windsor Police Services has long outgrown its current, 25-year-old police facility. But with a tight budget, Commander Reed needs creative ways to finance police infrastructure in South Windsor. “When we’re competing for tax dollars with other projects, such as a new sewer treatment plant in town, IACP Net comes in handy for finding ways to pull in outside funding,” said Reed. He is currently exploring private and government grants, financing as a 6320 corporation, and other alternative funding mechanisms.
“IACP Net is becoming the standard for law enforcement agencies for product or policy research. That alone is justification for keeping IACP Net access in any department budget,” said Commander Reed.
“IACP Net provides a clearinghouse of worthwhile law enforcement information,” said Reed. “Whether we are researching a new policy, a labor issue, or the implementation of new equipment, IACP Net gives us a one-stop shop for comprehensive information on nearly any law enforcement issue.”
[Editor’s Note: Chief Reed has retired from the South Windsor Police Department. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.]