Software might help Cleveland Police flag troubled officers for early intervention

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Police soon might begin using software that would flag officers who are having trouble in their professional or personal lives and require intervention.

City Council’s Public Safety Committee approved legislation Wednesday morning authorizing the city to enter a contract with CI Technologies, Inc. for use of the company’s proprietary IAPro or BlueTeam software.

The programs, which will cost $63,800 for one year with two one-year options to renew, collect data on each officer from various offices within the police department and alert the department’s medical unit if an officer needs help or psychological treatment.

City Safety Director Michael McGrath told council members that the software would flag officers who have had too many car accidents, have been named in domestic violence cases, have come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol or have been the subject of complaints to the Office of Professional Standards regarding use of force or disrespecting members of the community.

McGrath said the software has been used with great success by police agencies in Dallas, Boston, Indianapolis and the California State Highway Patrol and comes highly recommended by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

He said the department has been trying manually to keep track of such records for the past six years and send officers through early intervention programs when appropriate.

Councilman Zack Reed argued that after six years of more intensive monitoring, it seems officers still are mistreating residents, and that the only change in the intervention program is that the department will keep track of records electronically.

He requested to see statistics on how many officers have received treatment or intervention or were disciplined on account of the program, so far.

Councilman Martin Keane raised concerns that the program could make medical records available to the software provider and others who might not be authorized to view them. But McGrath assured council that only the department’s medical unit would have direct access.

Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said in an interview Wednesday that fewer than two percent of police officers require the kind of intervention McGrath described, and that the contract sounds like a waste of money.

Follmer said that any officer who comes to work intoxicated is immediately referred for outpatient treatment, and overly aggressive police officers are routed through anger management programs without the assistance of expensive tracking software.

“This software is a joke,” Follmer said. “Officers know how to reach out and get help. Why do we need a database or some outside tech group? What we need are more cars and equipment that will help us do our job.”

The ordinance is expected to come before council’s Finance Committee for passage on Monday.

Comments are closed.