DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Police Department is going to be implementing a new early warning system designed to track and identify officer misconduct.
The Dallas City Council approved the $907,000 contract Wednesday, Nov. 11.
The system from Benchmark Analytics will collect data on officers and use an algorithm to catch the first signs of potential behavioral problems.
A promotional video on the company’s website pledges to flag “truly struggling officers before they fall seriously off track.”
“The goal is to be able to identify problematic behaviors and correct them before they become an issue,” said Dallas Police Lt. Stephen Williams in an email.
The system lets supervisors develop an action plan for individual officers with steps, guidelines and follow-up.
“We already have an Internal Affairs Department,” said Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata. “We already have a Citizens Review Board. We can look at every single complaint that comes through. So why do we need another third party to reinvent the wheel?”
Mata has concerns about the way the technology could unfairly label some officers as troubled.
“It’s almost like we just want to say we’re doing something, so here look we’re checking another box,” Mata said. “It just isn’t necessary, and it definitely isn’t worth spending a million dollars.”
DPD believes the software will ensure no officer falls through the cracks.
“The current system we utilized is old and uses a threshold based measurement system,” said Williams. “The new system is researched base and uses a data driven approach in its analysis.”
The system will be implemented within the next 30 to 90 days.
DPD says police departments in Nashville, Albuquerque and New Jersey are just a few of the agencies currently using the technology.