Documents/VPD/11: Best Practices

11: Best Practices

Continue to implement best practices in police services

Other Information:

In 2005, the Vancouver Police Department and the City of Vancouver moved forward with a joint Operational Review of the VPD. This research was unlike any other police research completed anywhere in North America. Over the following two years, a dedicated team of police officers, academics and researchers examined every aspect of policing in the VPD. This team completed an exhaustive review of our service demands and service delivery, and provided recommendations for organizational change which included internal efficiencies and additional resource needs. The research methodology was grounded in best practices, drawing on what worked elsewhere. The research group did not draw on common practice. Rather, they developed their own methodology that incorporated multiple facets from many areas, and designed a best practice that has now become an industry best. Other police agencies from across North America are now modelling the research that was developed here in Vancouver. Best Practices is defined as a continual process of identifying, understanding and adapting outstanding practices from organizations anywhere in the world, to help our organization improve its performance. It is a process of benchmarking our organization’s activities, and researching other organizations’ activities, to determine if their adoption would improve our performance. Best Practices is an ongoing philosophy, and part of the organizational culture. It will continue to guide all of the initiatives and change within the VPD. Additional leading edge research is being conducted through 2008. This research includes studies on policing the mentally ill, regionalized policing services and closed-circuit television. The application of academic rigour to police research, including both quantitative and qualitative research methodology, will enable the VPD to move forward on major change initiatives with a full understanding of the complexities involved. It will establish a strong foothold for the organization to move forward with well-informed change initiatives, and enable the leadership and management of the change in the most effective way possible. The ever-changing nature of crime is also affecting how the police conduct their business. Digital technologies play an ever-increasing role in violent crime investigations. Criminals and victims alike are adopting computers, the Internet, and devices such as cellular telephones, PDAs, and music players, as key tools in their lives, which dramatically increase the complexity of criminal investigations. In 2006, 18 of the 19 homicides involved the use of digital technologies by the suspect or victim, in some manner. The police must be equipped, both with lab facilities and through extensive technical training, to conduct thorough and professional forensic examinations of computers, networks and personal digital devices, to recover critical evidence and solve crime. This is extremely specialized work and the VPD must look forward and recruit and retain qualified investigators with both these technical and forensic skills, along with the ability to present this complex evidence in lay terms in court. MEASUREMENTS * Number of quantifiable process improvements * Recognition and reward of innovations and process improvements * Delivery of regular benchmark reports to the Board, the Executive and the management team that supports decision making * Delivery of an annual and semi-annual benchmark report to the Police Board and other stakeholders * Assess best practices as a component of the Annual Performance Development employee interview * Number of articles published by VPD employees * Continue studies into shared services with the City of Vancouver * Improvements in core value acceptance levels as determined by surveys * Awareness of Strategic Plan by all staff