ILEA Implements Real-Time Online Training Reporting and Eliminates Tedious Paperwork
The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) is responsible for training and compliance for all police officers employed by law enforcement agencies in the state. Its mission is to prepare law enforcement professionals for service through rigorous, high-liability training to ensure the safety of the officers, and the citizens they serve. Specific areas of instruction include criminal and traffic law, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, physical tactics, EMS awareness, and human behavior. The organization provides basic, police chief, and in-service training for nearly 600 departments with 13,000 officers statewide.
ILEA’s 15-week basic law enforcement course includes 13 written tests and up to six practical exams. Beyond basic training, the state of Indiana requires officers to complete 24 hours of ongoing training each year. The result? ILEA tracks approximately 312,000 training hours each year for all departments and their officers.
In the past, each Indiana police department would manually compile and submit its in-service training paperwork, often via fax or traditional mail. It took four ILEA full-time employees a minimum of four months to sort through the thousands of officer records, to verify each officer completed the required number of training hours to meet the state’s certification requirements, and enter the data into their legacy system. According to Indiana State Police’s annual report, ILEA processed more than 14,000 training records in 2008. Also, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, on average it takes a minimum of 20 paper documents a year to manage one law enforcement officer. Manual processes were just not keeping pace with the volume of paper records ILEA is required to process every year.
ILEA’s executive director Rusty Goodpaster recognized the organization needed to automate its manual processes with an effective system to manage every officer’s training from basic to yearly in-service requirements through retirement.
Goodpaster has a big job. He not only oversees the academy’s training programs and processes while heading up the Law Enforcement Training Board, but also manages operational budgeting, legislation on training mandates and maintains regular contact with police chiefs and sheriffs across the state. Further, the importance of ensuring that law enforcement officers have met their in-service training requirement is the difference to the successful defense of an officer in litigation.
With a growing list of job duties, an ever-growing workforce to train, and constrained budgetary resources, he knows it is imperative for the organization to automate its training processes to ensure officers are in compliance with state mandates.
The legacy system ILEA had in place managed course registration, but the academy needed a much more comprehensive system that went beyond class registration. It needed to migrate its core training management processes from labor-intensive and costly paper systems to an automated solution. This allowed ILEA to develop uniform and repeatable processes across the ILEA campus. This vision for transformation encompassed the seamless integration of student registration, training management, automated testing, dormitory management, and electronic capture of mandated in-service training.
Given the high-liability associated with the law enforcement profession, it was of vital importance for ILEA to establish a secure system of record that tracks every officer’s lifelong learning record, including test scores, from basic training to annual in-service courses in a legally defensible manner. With the high volume of training functions ILEA manages, along with the nation’s need to increase homeland security in every state, Indiana’s force must be prepared to handle everything from suicide bombing incidents to addressing suspicious packages and substances. A comprehensive system became necessary to ensure that all officers were being trained-to-policy to handle these complex threats.
How would ILEA accomplish this daunting task? Goodpaster decided that technology could be applied to reduce their paper-based process and consolidate multiple systems into a single, wide-ranging enterprise system. This would provide the backbone to track training and compliance for all officers to ensure compliance with state policy and automate many of the manual operations at the ILEA.
Envisage Technologies’ Acadis® Readiness Suite®, a web-based enterprise resource planning system, was the obvious solution. Designed specifically to address the needs of the law enforcement community, the system was a strong fit for the requirements. The Acadis Training Management System and Registration modules provide ILEA with the ability to create classes and publish them to the Acadis Online Registration Portal. The Portal enables remote access to view scheduled classes, manage officer registration, report in-service training events, and view officer training history for compliance status, and recertification for ILEA’s numerous training programs.
Acadis is designed to rigorous federal and military security standards, ensuring the integrity of officer records. The In-service training module and the Online Registration modules are fully integrated and designed to track lifelong learning records for every officer in the force. ILEA now has a framework that allows the state to proactively manage officer compliance and will be able to drastically reduce its process costs.
In 2009, ILEA rolled out a beta version of the Acadis Portal with Online Registration and In-service reporting modules. The system was implemented across the state in first quarter 2010. Goodpaster anticipates the time it took four full-time staff to process each police department’s in-service reporting records from January to September will be drastically reduced. Rather than ILEA receiving all in-service reporting records on paper during the last week of December, law enforcement agencies can use the Portal to report training in real time. In the past, ILEA wasn’t able to provide training data included in the Indiana annual report until October of the following year.
“We’ll be able to move our training staff’s time from processing tedious paperwork to investigative reporting and revocation,” said Goodpaster. “Our group can devote itself to ensuring officers are well-trained and prepared and revoking licenses for officers who have not met our training standard.”
The In-service module captures and compiles each ILEA officer’s training and certification records throughout his or her career. Real-time access to this data gives Indiana police departments and law enforcement executives the ammunition they need to request funding, defend against litigation, and continue to protect the public with a well-trained workforce.
From a liability standpoint, ILEA will be more efficient should a civil litigation suit be brought against an Indiana police officer by coming to court with detailed, legally defensible training records. Given there are more than 22,000 civil litigation cases filed against law enforcement officers each year in the United States and an average settlement of $4 million, it’s apparent why maintaining training records that stand up in court is so essential.
Better yet, ILEA shares secure Acadis database with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, providing identification of emergency responders with specific skill sets and quickly determine what kind of physical resources are available. Centralizing employee’s information in this way ensures the state responds effectively and efficiently in times of crisis. Acadis will also serve as the authoritative training and certification database for a future credentialing system.
By automating its training process with the Acadis Readiness Suite, ILEA is working hard to ensure a qualified workforce dedicated to meeting ILEA’s mission to “provide the most professional, effective and courteous police service possible.”