Client’s Challenge: A Local Police Department Seeks Outside Assistance

Lemont is a centuries-old community that has undergone rapid growth in recent years. The Lemont Police Department includes 38 sworn and non-sworn civilian personnel and recently moved to a new, state-of-the-art headquarters facility.

In January 2011, the community’s leaders asked Hillard Heintze to assess the Department’s current operations and make recommendations on strategies that would help the agency become a world-class example of suburban communityfocused policing. “How can the Department better meet its mission in financially challenging times,” they asked, “and engage cost-effective methods to maximize and improve the services it provides to Lemont residents?”

Our Solution: Conducting an Independent Police Department Assessment

Hillard Heintze began by analyzing the Department’s policies, protocols and performance metrics and conducting interviews with a majority of its members in private sessions and group meetings. Next, the team led a focus group with community leaders to determine their perceptions of the effectiveness of the Lemont police and identify areas for improvement. The project manager also engaged the broader Hillard Heintze team to evaluate the information and analyze the Department’s operations across a wide range of law enforcement domains.

Impact on the Client: Six Areas of Opportunity

Guided by the report’s key findings and specific, actionable recommendations, the Department began immediately addressing six areas vital to its mission and emerging roadmap: (1) current staffing levels; (2) availability of officers to focus on the community; (3) deficiencies in the Department’s structure; (4) shifting its approach to the community from project-based to strategy-driven; (5) developing a long-term strategic plan and a more data-driven methodology for resource deployment; and (6) core improvements to internal communications and personnel development.

Most importantly, the Chief of Police is now leading the agency into a transformation that embraces a strategy-driven approach to decision making and thinking at every level.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

“This Department had stepped out in the right direction – and just needed to bring more structure to its objectives.

While it had adopted a community-focused approach and had several successful programs, such as the neighborhood watch, the citizens’ police academy and school resource officers, its implementation at that time, relied heavily on only a few members of the Department.

We helped its leaders see that to accelerate achievement of its goals, the Department needed to transform this approach from merely project-based to strategy-driven. And, I can tell you, that has made a world of difference.”

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