Chief Thomas Weitzel utilized IACPnet to prepare for his transition to Chief of the Riverside Police Department (RPD), IL, and he continues to use it today as his role evolves. In a small community just west of Chicago, the RPD has 19 sworn officers and serves a population of 9,000.
This small community, adjacent to many large suburban areas, faces many of the same pressures and expectations of other agencies across the globe, regardless of size. To keep up to date on effective practices and professional standards Chief Weitzel turns to IACPnet.
Providing Support and Justification
Over the last several years, Chief Weitzel has noticed a transformation in local government. There was a time when anecdotal evidence was enough to support requests for funding or other resources. Now, it is important to have data-driven and evidence-based information. For agencies that may not have this type of data, they can look to IACPnet.
While updating the Riverside Police Department annual report, Chief Weitzel relied on IACPnet. He found a sample report and used the discussion board to communicate with other IACPnet subscribers. Drawing on peer experience, Chief Weitzel was able to produce a consolidated and professionally formatted annual report.
Access to Best Practices and the Agencies Implementing Them
IACPnet has also allowed Chief Weitzel to connect with successful peers on a variety of topics.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected agencies of all sizes, including RPD. During this time, Chief Weitzel knew he could turn to IACPnet for answers. He was able to find information on how smaller agencies were adapting their resources and staffing models to ensure timely delivery of police services while maintaining officer safety and welfare during the pandemic.
While updating the Riverside Police Department use of force form, Chief Weitzel reviewed existing examples and spoke directly with the agency representatives using these forms. He was able to quickly update and begin using the revised RPD form.
Particularly for smaller agencies that are asked to do a lot with limited time and staff, chiefs and other agency leaders need to be able to get access to answers and resources quickly, easily, and sometimes at odd hours. Whether it’s 2:00 p.m. or 2:00 a.m., IACPnet is there.
Chief Weitzel noted that he appreciates not having to reinvent the wheel each time he looks to implement a new program or process or update a policy or a form. He knows the resources he finds on IACPnet are reliable. Agencies around the globe share their resources so users, like Chief Weitzel, are able to get policies, forms, templates, and other information that has already been real-world tested. Communicating directly with peers to understand the context of their posted resources, discussing shared challenges, and collaborating on user focused solutions saves time and money.
So how does the chief of a small agency justify the cost associated with IACPnet? According to Chief Weitzel, “it pays for itself.” The agency has and continues to realize the tremendous benefits from the service, and those benefits are visible, leading the elected officials in Riverside to continue to support it. IACPnet saves police leaders time and effort, and the information gained is simply invaluable.