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I READ WITH GREAT interest your March 8, 1996, Loose Lips column, wherein you described the “as-is” report prepared by the Perot Systems Corporation for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The report documented, in detail, MPD’s current operational processes.
The report is the first of several deliverables in a complete re-engineering of the department’s operations processes: event reporting, arrest processing, and property management. Perot Systems won the contract in an extensive competitive bid procurement.
The first step in any program of major change begins with an assessment of the existing processes: the “as-is” report. The next step was the complete redesign of the process: “Business Process Re-engineering” (BPR). More than 300 members of the department and people from the community participated in designing the new processes, and I have approved its recommendations. Currently, the department is involved in the third phase: detailed functional requirements analysis, which seeks to determine exactly what the system must do to achieve the goals established in the BPR document.
We acknowledge the department’s problems and are determined to resolve them. This will require fundamental changes to the department’s operations and its organizational culture. Contrary to your column, the program is not a secret, or classified in any way. The strategic plan that the program initiated is more than two years old and hundreds of copies of this plan have been distributed.
The “as-is” document was intended for internal departmental use in connection with this project. I have discussed and quoted from it on many occasions. The report and its contents were discussed in an extensive article in Street Smart, a community newsletter distributed to more than 7,000 homes.
The report prepared by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is likewise not “classified.” It simply did not reveal any new information about our problems, and considering the economic status of the city, the recommendation of doubling the number of police districts is impossible at this time. Further, I believe the plan would take more officers off of the street to staff the units.
As far as the building of a “Big Brother” capability, the Metropolitan Police Department is dedicated to serving the community. We will use technology to improve our performance in every way possible, but it will always be used in accordance with the law. MPD will never lose sight of our responsibility to protect personal rights.
There is nothing sinister or secret about the department’s re-engineering project. This process will free officers from many hours of administrative paperwork. The net result of hours saved would be the same as hiring 300 police officers at no additional costs.
Chief of Police