Patrolman Performance Policy Calling Out JPD Officers

January 3, 2006 – Posted at 4:39 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- On an average month, the Jonesboro Police Department answers between 5,000-7,500 calls for service, and with about 50 patrol officers working 40 hours a week it all averages to about seven calls per day per officer. But a new program designed to measure productivity is calling out the officers who are failing to step up.

JPD established a new Productivity Evaluations Rating Policy. It's a way to determine patrolman performance, but according to Chief Mike Yates, the one thing it's not is a quota system.
“Anybody who is trying to make it into that does not understand the process, or they are objecting because now all of a sudden they are being required to work for a living, just like the rest of us,” said Chief Yates.
Officers’ performances have been monitored the last four months and only 3% have failed to meet the standards.
“It's a way to keep up with officers. Make sure that the citizens of Jonesboro that they're getting a days work for a days pay,” said K-9 and Prowl Team Officer John Shipman.
“I think it's just a very good idea, and I think it's a police administration issue that obviously has gotten the attention of some people,” said City Council Member Judy Furr, who chairs the Jonesboro Police Committee.
Under the program an officer gets as much reward for searching a vehicle and finding drugs as he does for writing a ticket. Officers receive a half-point for issuing parking citations and warning tickets; one point for responding to a call as well as issuing a ticket or making a misdemeanor arrest. Patrolmen receive two points for issuing a driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated tickets or for making a felony arrest.
“The bottom line is just being productive,” said Officer Shipman, “Just come out and try to make a difference in the city of Jonesboro.”
“For the size of our organization and the population of the city and the activity level we have, we need to have all of our officers pulling their weight and everybody sharing the load equally,” said Chief Yates.
Officers who haven't been performing up to standards have received warnings and punishments...anything from switching shifts to losing the privilege of working a second job. Most punishments last only 30 days.
Police departments across the US use this same evaluation program as well as forces in England , Australia and Canada .