|Prepared for onsite reaccreditation in less than six months||Their mock assessor never set foot in the door||Saved hundreds of hours on next assessment||Improved efficiency across the entire agency|
Reaccreditation is often left until the eleventh-hour, causing agencies to frantically prepare for their onsite. For the New Berlin Police Department in Wisconsin, the last-minute scramble was compounded by the appointment of a new chief and having no assigned accreditation manager until less than a year out from their Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group (WILEAG) onsite assessment.
Sergeant Jeff Herro, a 30-year patrol officer who had only recently stepped into the role of Administrative Sergeant was assigned to oversee the agency-wide reaccreditation initiative. This meant they had only six months to review 200 policies, collect three years’ worth of proofs, and complete the self-assessment before the auditors arrived onsite.
A lot of work, a little time
Being prepared for their onsite meant New Berlin had to act quickly, using every tool and resource at their disposal. Here's a brief look at how they prepared for and achieved reaccreditation in time.
Step One: They made accreditation a priority
New Berlin knew compiling three years’ worth of data was an impossible task for one person. The Chief and leadership team madeaccreditation a priority and an agency-wide initiative. While Sgt. Herro was responsible for compiling the agency’s final self-assessment, everyone in the department, including officers and detectives, helped collect proofs of compliance or provided administrative support.
“I knew our Chief valued accreditation because he made sure it was a department-wide project. Once our leadership team said ‘This is a priority,’ then everyone contributed the data we needed to finish in time.”
Step Two: They created a method to the madness
After the Chief heard about PowerDMS at a conference, New Berlin decided it was the perfect tool to compile and manage all of the agency’s directives and three years’ worth of proofs of compliance. PowerDMS is preloaded with all the WILEAG standards and allowed New Berlin to upload, highlight, track, and manage policies and proofs of compliance. They purchased the software in May of 2019 and were up and running in the software by July 2019. Over the next three months, they were able to compile, upload, and highlight all of their proofs electronically in PowerDMS.
“The only reason we finished on time was because of PowerDMS. Last time we had Excel spreadsheets with links that would break and it was so cumbersome. Nothing breaks in PowerDMS. I move something into my standard, it's there. PowerDMS made the process way more efficient.”
Step Three: They dotted the i’s and crossed their t’s
Now that New Berlin finished the self-assessment process, it was time to complete a mock assessment. Since PowerDMS is cloud-based,their mock assessors were able to review all of their work without ever stepping into their building or taking time away from their agency.
“We gave our mock assessor a login to PowerDMS and said, ‘Just look at this over the next month and tell us what you think.’ He was able to give me feedback without ever leaving his office.”
Accreditation moving forward
Now that everything is in PowerDMS, New Berlin has already started their reaccreditation process for 2022. With a few clicks of a button, theywere able to copy all of their work into a new assessment saving hundreds of hours. All of their directives are set to an automated reviewcycle in PowerDMS so they are reminded to review a third of their directives annually rather than all at once. With PowerDMS, accreditationis no longer a last-minute scramble but is an ongoing and living process the entire agency can participate in routinely.