Boston Starts Extensive Police Monitoring System


Boston police officials have started an extensive new monitoring program to track officers’ productivity with measures including arrests made, interrogations conducted, tickets written, and time spent on leave, the Boston Globe reports. Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole and her command staff are paying particular attention to officers who work significant amounts of overtime and paid details to make sure that their performance during regular shifts is up to par. Officials say that the scrutiny is paying off. Since mid-January, they say, the number of officers on injury leave has decreased from 130 to 95.

O’Toole said the department is using computer technology that can collect and analyze what individual officers do on the job, such as the number of arrests and citations, plus provide a breakdown of their pay. Officials now are enforcing a rule limiting how many overtime shifts and paid details officers can work. Officers are not allowed to work more than 96 hours in a week. ”If you’re a high earner, your numbers should be up there: your arrests, your field interrogations, your moving citations,” said one high-ranking police official. O’Toole said the department has traditionally had a culture in which a relatively small number of top performers have done the bulk of the work. ”Now,” she said, ”for the first time in the department’s history we have the information to closely monitor what people are doing, and if we have people who are poor performers, it gives their supervisors the information they need to hold them accountable and to coach them or discipline them.”


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