Client’s Challenge: Schaumburg Leaders Ask for an Independent Assessment of their Police Department

In the spring of 2013, two events thrust the Village of Schaumburg’s Police Department into the public spotlight. One involved the January 2013 arrest of three officers in the department’s Special Investigations Bureau for narcotics trafficking. The second was a criminal investigation into the actions of the Police Chief. These matters raised questions among village leaders and the general public about the department. “Come in and do a careful independent administrative and operational assessment of the department,” the leaders said. “Look at the policies and practices that may have failed to alert us to these illicit activities. And help us  understand how to deliver the highest quality police services to our community.”

Our Solution: Undertaking a Top-to-Bottom Review of the Schaumburg Police Department

Over the next several months, the Hillard Heintze team reviewed every facet of the department’s operations. It examined supervision, administration and operations, current resources, organizational culture and officer morale, and internal investigations and oversight. It analyzed discipline and enforcement, crime- fighting strategies and tactics, and evidence handling and storage. It pored over information and interview findings related to policy, practice, culture, training, use of technology and communications with internal and external constituencies. And most importantly, it evaluated the agency’s approach to ethics, integrity and public trust.

Several months into the assessment, city leaders asked Hillard Heintze to serve as Interim Police Chief until a permanent candidate could be identified. Hillard Heintze COO Ken Bouche assumed this position and, over a period of a year, initiated the implementation of the assessment’s key findings and approved recommendations and positioned the department and the new police candidate for long-term success. Hillard Heintze also identified and recruited candidates for the position of Chief.

Impact on the Client: 10 Key Findings and an Actionable Roadmap for Improvement Over Time

This comprehensive review resulted in ten key findings that identified areas of strength, as well as the most urgent and attractive opportunities to correct deficiencies, reestablish leadership, improve performance, rebuild officers’ morale and regain the community’s trust. The team also laid the foundation for an actionable roadmap to achieving these goals by outlining more than 50 recommendations across the department’s strategic, operational and baseline competencies.

Unplugged: The Perspective of Hillard Heintze’s COO

“This agency was a leader in so many ways. It had a strong and reliable core of highly professional officers, a genuine commitment to the community, a solid platform of training and equipment that it had sustained even under challenging fiscal conditions and a clear track record of balancing resources to deliver both traditional policing services as well as other community-enhancing initiatives.

We just clarified the roadmap and validated the milestones needed to bring the department confidently back on track in terms of achieving its mission, regaining its reputation, energizing its officer corps and establishing the command-and-control checks and balances that are vital to the integrity of any law enforcement agency.”

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