The Aubrey Independent School District Police Department (AISD PD) supports and protects a growing community and district that has 3,100 students spread over six campuses.
Smaller police departments face a unique set of challenges—high turnover, officer burnout and lack of resources. For Aubrey ISD Police Department (AISD PD), the challenge of keeping up with policy updates as legislation and best practices change was at the top of the list for Chief Scott Collins. “One of the major things we struggled with as a small department was trying to keep up with the policy manuals and all the changes coming out through the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Recognition program,” Chief Collins says.
As the department focused on achieving TPCA accreditation, Chief Collins knew their current policy management process would continue to be an issue. “Whenever a new change would happen, we would have to download a Word document, take time to edit it, customize it to fit our agency, and then put it back in the policy manual. Tracking those changes and holding everybody accountable for reading the policy was very hard,” Chief Collins says. “Being a small school-based law enforcement agency, it is hard to carve out time to keep the policy and procedure manual up to date. In Texas, grant funding can be dependent on best practices and other checks and balances in your policy manual.”
Chief Collins pursued a cost-effective solution to help AISD PD enhance compliance, professionalism and transparency. “Lexipol’s Accreditation Workbench provides a convenient way to do the accreditation and policy management. I use the Workbench to link our policy to the TPCA Best Practices proof,” Chief Collins says. “Lexipol makes it easy to keep your policy manual not only up to date, but up to best practice standards to lower liability.”
Lexipol’s Professional Services helped keep the policy implementation project running smoothly. “When we got started with Lexipol, I had someone from Implementation Services sit down and listen to my mission, vision, values and what I was envisioning. They helped to get me on the right track, then checked back with me every couple of weeks,” Chief Collins says. “I was stuck on one policy that I needed to add some things to, and Lexipol brought me examples from other agencies and ideas on how to incorporate them. Everything is customizable. Lexipol provides options and recommendations that are best practices, but you can make it fit your department.”
In addition to supporting the accreditation process, Chief Collins turned to Lexipol’s online training platform to improve the training process for AISD PD. “We’re using Lexipol for a lot of things—policies and procedures, accreditation and online training through PoliceOne Academy,” Chief Collins says. “When you put all of that together, you’re getting a whole package. You’re getting TPCA Best Practice standards and you’re able to track all the pieces that you need to put into your accreditation.”
To easily edit policies, issue changes and access training, AISD PD uses Lexipol’s online and mobile platform. “I like the mobile app. It allows us to do great things. When an officer doesn’t know what to do, the mobile app gives them that quick reference guide and spells it out in the policy,” he says. “It’s officer-friendly. If you don’t use a program that’s officer-friendly, officers will be scared to engage with that policy.”
With Lexipol, AISD PD now has up-to-date policies, access to critical training topics and the tools needed to support the accreditation process. “The results have been amazing,” Chief Collins says. “With Lexipol, it doesn’t matter if you’re a large or small agency. You can still accomplish the same goals. My officers now know policy. They know the expectation and they know what’s required of them. We’re making more progress with accreditation because we have Lexipol.”
The resources AISD PD has invested in Lexipol policies and training are paying off. “With the amount of work it does for you and what it provides the officers, it really makes it an affordable product for even smaller agencies,” Chief Collins says. “Once you get your policy set up the way you want, get collaboration and feedback from stakeholders and then push the policy out, it’s a breeze after that. It’s easy to maintain and that’s what I really enjoy.”