Public Safety Staffing
Due: December 2021
Principle: Ensures the Police Department has appropriate staffing levels; communication, information, financial management support; and leadership services to achieve strategic and operational results, including maintaining a well-informed community.
This strategic result focuses on the efforts the Arvada Police Department is investing into recruiting and retaining the high performing police professionals the City demands with the goal of maintaining staffing levels at 95% or higher.
According to Police Research Forum fewer people are applying to become police officers, and more people are leaving the profession, often after only a few years on the job. These trends are occurring even as many police and sheriffs’ offices are already short-staffed and facing challenges in developing a diverse workforce. The workforce crisis is affecting law enforcement agencies of all sizes and types large, medium, and small; local, state, and federal. And it is hitting departments in all parts of the country.
There are ominous signs that the workforce crisis in policing may be getting worse. Traditional sources of job applicants including the military and family members of current officers are diminishing. A robust economy and strong job growth are creating more options for people entering the labor market, so police agencies are facing more competition. And the often rigid, quasi-military organizational structure of most police agencies does not align with the preferences of many of today’s job applicants.
An important issue complicating the situation is the fact that the work of policing itself is changing. The work of police officers is becoming more challenging. Criminal offenders are committing new types of cyber-crime, and are using computers to commit old types of crime in new ways, so officers must understand and be comfortable with new technologies. Furthermore, today’s police officers increasingly are being asked to deal with social problems, such as untreated mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness. As a result, the skills, temperament, and life experiences needed to succeed as an officer are becoming more complex.
As of January 4, the department has 185 of 187 FTEs in place which results in a retention rate of 98%. The department is in the middle of a hiring process to ensure positions remain filled.
Police Officer Ratio
Municipalities routinely monitor how many sworn personnel there are compared to the total population. CALEA drives this ratio for Arvada.
A law enforcement presence plays a key role in crime prevention and the overall safety of the community. Having the lowest ratio shows that Arvada employs more sworn officers per capita than benchmark municipalities.
No data is available for 2018 and 2019 on the FBI/UCR website as of 2.11.20.
Police Response Time
Emergency calls or Code 3/Emergent calls for service are defined as urgent emergency calls including domestic and crime in progress calls. Emergency call response times are based upon the Arvada computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) call classification system. This performance measure focuses on the time between the call for service and an officer arriving at the scene. The Industry average is 10 minutes.
Original Title and Goal - "By 2019, 90% of emergency calls will have less than five (5) minute response times." Prior to March 21, 2018, Emergency calls or Code 3/Emergent calls for service were defined as urgent emergency calls including domestic and crime in progress calls. Emergency call response times are based upon the Arvada computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) call classification system. This performance measure focuses on the time between the call for service and an officer arriving at the scene.
After March 21, 2018, this data can no longer be tracked in the same manner. Emergency calls are now categorized by their priority in order to accurately track them. Even though most priority one calls are not actual life and death emergencies, there is no way to filter the data provided by the Jefferson County Regional Communication Center (JEFFCOM).
Emergency call response time is a critical element to customer service. Citizens need and expect a prompt response from the Police Department when calling 911.
Prior to March 21 2018, information was collected in-house utilizing data from the Arvada Police Communications Center's CAD system. We were able to extensively filter the data to obtain an accurate measure of specific emergency call responses.
Post March 21 2018, the data provided by Jeffcom and the different technologies, no longer has the information previously used to measure this goal. With the limited information available, the data now includes significantly more calls for service that are not actual life or death emergencies and are categorized by their priority. Call priorities can be predetermined by the Computer Aided dispatch system, as well as changed, if the call taker determines the necessity.