Chief Douglas Dortenzio of the Wallingford, Connecticut, Police Department uses IACP Net to address his most important management issue — his budget.
The community of Wallingford (pop. 45,000) is located in central Connecticut, bisected by a number of major highways and a railroad line. “Like everyone else in the country, our biggest concern right now is economics,” said the chief. “In the past we have used IACP Net to locate a lot of grants, and over the years we’ve been successful in receiving money.”
That said, times are still tough. Recently, applying for grants has become more difficult in Wallingford — population requirements for many grants have changed, and Wallingford has become disqualified by virtue of its size. In addition, this year the department is legally obligated to give 3% raises — due to contracts negotiated before the recession — even though its budget is 1% less than last year.
Daily Departmental Improvement Is Priceless
Chief Dortenzio is a member of IACP Net: a comprehensive, cost-efficient tool that assists the department daily with policy and best practice improvements. The value, said Chief Dortenzio, is priceless.
“I don’t think you can put a price tag on improvements constantly made through the use of IACP Net,” noted Chief Dortenzio, who uses IACP Net to communicate with other departments across the country. “There is sometimes a tendency in law enforcement to discuss matters only with area departments, and oftentimes that leaves a department with myopic vision. I use IACP Net to see what other states and sizes of communities are doing, to create a dialogue with others in the region — it’s more productive to see innovative things that have been done elsewhere in the United States.”
Local and National Issues Addressed
Connecticut has its own form of professional accreditation. Noted Chief Dortenzio, “States that have their own accreditation programs often take into account things that CALEA® can’t — local court decisions and law enforcement practices.”
Chief Dortenzio and his department use IACP Net daily to look through policies and best practices that best fit their needs. “IACP Net is a conduit for cutting-edge information. It helps us with cost-efficiency, as well as changes in particular operations. We compare that to our own internal needs and practices and extract the changes that are appropriate to us.”
Easy Searching for Efficient Information
The Wallingford Police Department uses IACP Net’s Core and Policies Databases to easily sort through relevant information.
“We constantly review business practices and policies and revise our own internal business practices accordingly,” said Chief Dortenzio. “We do this religiously — whenever we see something in print, something that catches our eye, we update our policies. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve, and IACP Net helps us do that.”
When speaking to law enforcement executives who don’t use IACP Net, Chief Dortenzio is clear. “I run into chiefs who don’t use IACP Net, and I tell them that I look at it as a comprehensive database that is well laid out, easy to use, a cost-efficient method for receiving contemporary, professional information,” he explained. “I have every intention of remaining a member of IACP Net.”
[Editor’s Note: Chief Dortenzio has retired from the Wallingford Police Department. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.]