The Mesquite Police Department protects a population of just over 20,000 located about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The department’s 39 sworn officers use both Lexipol’s law enforcement and corrections policies.
In 2019, the Mesquite Police Department (MPD) was working off a set of policies that hadn’t been thoroughly updated since 2012. Assigned full-time to work on the policies, Captain Quinn Averett struggled to keep up.
“Our policies were very behind on legal updates and didn’t reflect the cultural changes happening within law enforcement,” he says. “We tried our best, but for a small agency it’s almost impossible to keep up. It took about 20 to 40 hours of work to review a legislative change or court decision and make it fit in our policy manual.”
The department’s jail manual was also inadequate, with policies Capt. Averett describes as “archaic.” But the department simply lacked the internal resources to complete a comprehensive overhaul of its policies.
When Chief MaQuade Chesley was named head of the department in 2019, he knew exactly how to address MPD’s policy challenges. “For several years we had used Lexipol policies, so as an officer and a patrol sergeant I had first-hand experience of the benefit of Lexipol’s Daily Training Bulletins and policy updates,” he says. “I wasn’t happy when the previous chief let our subscription lapse.”
Chief Chesley moved quickly to restart subscriptions for Lexipol’s Law Enforcement and Corrections Policies and Training solutions. The MPD also took advantage of Lexipol’s implementation service, which helps agencies efficiently customize and roll out their policies. “I had a dedicated person, one point of contact, who worked side by side with me while we reviewed and modified the policies,” Capt. Averett says. “With other vendors in law enforcement, that kind of support is almost unheard of.”
The Lexipol subscription keeps the department up to date with new legislation and case law. “Instead of having to assign an officer to go to the legislature in Nevada and make sure we abide by all the changes, I get an email from Lexipol with the updates,” Chief Chesley says. “That’s invaluable because we’re updating our policy immediately with expert guidance.”
The Lexipol platform provides additional benefits, including electronic policy acknowledgment tracking and a mobile app. “The app is a godsend,” Capt. Averett says. “Before, the only way officers could access policy was sitting in front of a computer at the station. Now it’s on their phone and easily searchable by keywords.”
Using Lexipol, the MPD is experiencing tangible benefits from both a patrol perspective and an administrative perspective. “Because it’s easier for officers on the streets to access policies, their use of policy increases, which makes them better officers,” says MPD Lieutenant Tracy Fails. “And the updates help us to stay on point with all the changes in our profession.”
Lt. Fails also cites the newfound ability as command staff to hold officers accountable to policy. “There’s no excuse to say they didn’t know the policy exists,” he says, “because we have it on record that they have acknowledged the policy. And all this is more cost-effective.”
Chief Chesley echoes the idea that Lexipol helps the department reduce costs and increase efficiency. “With Lexipol, we get a whole legal team that’s maintaining the polices, and they can do it better than us,” he says. “Lexipol pays for itself because we don’t have to staff a full-time policy person anymore.”
The expertise behind Lexipol’s policy content also builds trust with community stakeholders. “Having Lexipol on board has given me instant credibility with my city manager,” Chief Chesley says. “I can explain how Lexipol has a team of lawyers keeping us updated, keeping us at the top of our game with our policies.”
But perhaps the most important benefit is how Lexipol supports the MPD’s commitment to professional, progressive policing. “As a chief, my hope is that all my officers become policy experts,” Chief Chesley says. “By making policy accessible and reinforcing it through daily training, Lexipol makes that possible. Lexipol pushes us forward to be more professional, to better understand policy, and to train our officers on the policy so we can give our citizens the best protection and the best service.”