The largest municipal law enforcement agency in the state of North Dakota, the Fargo Police Department is authorized to have 186 sworn police officers and 27 civilian staff.
In 2015, the Fargo Police Department (FPD) was looking for a way to update policies more efficiently and effectively. “In the past, each chief had their own specific view and take on how to handle policies,” Deputy Chief Joseph Anderson says. “When it was time to review and update policies, it turned into a really long process. The command staff or subject matter experts would make their recommendation and move it up the chain of command to the chief. A lot of times, those policies would become stagnant. They weren’t turned around in a timely manner. It was a big frustration.”
Additionally, FPD needed a policy manual their staff could easily access and stay current with updates. “We had a legacy manual. Whenever a new policy came out, the staff were responsible for printing out the policy and putting it in their manual. I don’t think we did a good job rolling out and explaining policies to the staff,” Deputy Chief Anderson says.
Not long after identifying the need to update the agency’s policies, FPD leaders learned about Lexipol’s Law Enforcement Policies and Procedures, which was being rolled out in North Dakota. With a new chief in charge, FPD decided to act on the offer. “We saw an opportunity to partner with Lexipol and finally have a policy manual that would be updated in a timely manner,” Deputy Chief Anderson says.
FPD found confidence in their new policy manual knowing it was written by individuals with similar backgrounds and experience. “With Lexipol, the founders have a law enforcement background which is huge when you’re in the law enforcement field,” Deputy Chief Anderson says. “Knowing that your policies are being written and vetted by people in law enforcement or the public service field is a critical factor.”
Although it took FPD some time to implement the policy manual, once they were up and running, the department was able to utilize additional benefits from Lexipol such as the Daily Training Bulletins (DTBs). “The DTBs are a quick refresher over certain aspects of policy, especially those that maybe aren’t reviewed as often,” Deputy Chief Anderson says. “It allows the officers to review a scenario, apply policy to the scenario and get instant feedback. The officers also get POST credit for taking the DTBs and that’s appealing.”
FPD staff can access the DTBs and Lexipol’s policy manual through Lexipol’s online and mobile platform. “The mobile app comes in handy because the policy manual is right there. If an officer has a question in the field, they can pull up the policy and look at it,” Deputy Chief Anderson says. “The majority of our department is young, so they are very tech-savvy and prefer the online manual.”
Today, FPD has a more professional workforce. “We have more focus on making sure the officers are educated about policy. I think officers are more confident and comfortable with the policy manual and we can make sure that our policy manual mirrors our core values,” Deputy Chief Anderson says.
FPD has experienced first-hand how Lexipol strives to not just provide policy guidance, but to act as a true partner with agencies. “Lexipol has taken feedback and created new policies as issues come up. In 2016, we had a line of duty death, and we did not see that policy. We had a draft policy and I put it in the Lexipol manual. It wasn’t too long after that, Lexipol came out with a line of duty death policy,” he says.
After working with Lexipol for over eight years, Deputy Chief Anderson couldn’t be more pleased with the service provided: “My experience with Lexipol has been outstanding. Our customer success manager has always been very responsive, and we’ve never had an issue. I think that’s reflective of the core values of what Lexipol stands for.”