The recent Senior Leadership meeting for all City departments focused on performance management, that is the process of measuring what you do and then finding ways to do it better. It's something that LakelandPD has been involved with for many, many years.
This year's meeting, an initial step in preparing for the annual retreat for City Commissioners next year, emphasized not only measuring what you do (outputs) but to also measure what your results are (outcomes). Trying to measure results (particularly in police work) is more complex than it seems, but if done right links outcomes with a strategic plan to report on how well an organization achieves its goals.
This is all very timely for the City of Lakeland as you may have seen or heard about a recent directive from the White House that requires federal agencies to produce systems where government data can be accessed online in a transparent, understandable format.
It seems like performance measures have been a key element of our operations forever at LakelandPD, and we're committed to transparency in reporting both our outputs and outcomes. The challenge is to design a way to accomplish this so the information is succinct and easily understood by the public without getting bogged down in the data.
We publish crime stats on our website and provide access to daily maps of crime in the community or your neighborhood. We also uploaded key performance measures until earlier this year when we changed data managements software and had to begin a lengthy process to change our reports. (We're still working on that one.)
Our goal for now is to create new online reports that will provide the performance data most often requested from the public. (It seems like the current business phrase for all of this is "performance dashboards.") Below are samples of performance dashboards for violent and property crimes we are developing. If all goes well, they will be uploaded later this weekend and will become part of a comprehensive redesign of our website. (More on that another day.)
As always, your comments and feedback are appreciated.
- Asst Chief Bill LePere