[Editors’ Note: Matt Hamlin has been promoted to Chief of Police of the Clayton Police Department since this article was written.]
Lieutenant Matt Hamlin of the Clayton, Ohio, Police Department believes CALEA accreditation will be vital to his department’s ongoing success.
“The Clayton Police Department general orders were last written in 1996, so I used IACP Net to overhaul them completely,” said Lieutenant Hamlin. “This is the first time we’re going for CALEA accreditation, so we thought the best thing would be to just jump in.” Clayton, Ohio, population 13,500, is a bedroom community located on Interstate 70 on the outskirts of Dayton. The crime rate is low in Clayton, giving the department’s officers more time to concentrate on community and policy issues.
The lieutenant’s highest priority was updating general orders concerning critical incidents and hazardous materials, both of which he was able to research on IACP Net. “I pulled up a bunch of policies from the Policies Database, and was able to take pieces from both bigger and smaller departments,” said the lieutenant. “We combined pieces, mirroring what other small departments were doing — we kind of mixed and matched and made it all work.
“It’s really a great tool — IACP Net is a huge help in accreditation. We learn about what we need to do through IACP Net,” said Lieutenant Hamlin.
Policies and Much More
After finding documents from agencies about the same size as Clayton, Lieutenant Hamlin was able to tailor his policy updates to the size of his department. He found policies on TASER® liability, excited delirium, and other use-of-force issues. “We don’t just cut and paste policies — we look each one over, appropriate the pieces that work, and modify our own document to be a better policy,” noted the lieutenant. “IACP Net really came in handy.”
Lieutenant Hamlin uses IACP Net for more than just policy research, and he appreciates having the resource available. “When something comes up, I pop onto IACP Net and see what everyone else is doing,” said the lieutenant. “We use it for just about everything.” For example, Lieutenant Hamlin posted a question — and received answers through the Quest-Response service — about mobile data terminals (MDTs) and their tendency to overheat if left running in vehicles.
“We wanted to find out what other departments were doing to keep their MDTs from overheating — do they shut cars off or leave them running with the air conditioning? Do they leave the vehicle in the shade, under a tree? We got some good feedback about that,” noted the lieutenant. He also researched the pros and cons of switching the department’s schedule from rotating 12-hour days to rotating 10-hour days, or another scheduling cycle.
The Clayton Police Department has no problem justifying the cost of IACP Net. “It’s such a great resource, and our Board of Directors knows that. They want us to go through accreditation, and they understand that IACP Net is our go-to resource when we have questions,” said the lieutenant.
Lieutenant Hamlin knows he can turn to IACP Net if he has an issue about anything law enforcement-related. “If you know where to start looking, that’s half the battle.”