AUSTIN (KXAN) — A review of the Austin Police Department’s training program recommended the creation of two advisory bodies to review it, including community members and professionals.
Furthermore, the report says that if the APD is to continue its current process, it “should be reframed with a more defined scope and better protocols.”
“Whichever model is selected, we recommend that APD leadership also convene regular neighborhood strategic planning meetings within each sector of APD,” Kroll Associates, Inc. wrote in its report.
Kroll Associates, Inc. is a consulting firm that focuses on risk management decisions, according to the report. Kroll helps clients make “decisions through a broad range of investigations, cybersecurity, due diligence and compliance, physical and operational security, and data and information management services,” the report said.
In a memorandum to the Mayor and City Council of the City of Austin, Acting City Assistant Bruce Mills provided the comprehensive review of Kroll Associates, Inc., which pointed out some things the Academy’s Curriculum Review Committee it is not doing with the APD training academy.
Key findings in Kroll’s assessment of the curriculum review process found that the ACRC “has functioned for most of its existence without a clearly defined mission and purpose, which has hampered its effectiveness from the outset “, according to the memorandum.
Furthermore, there were no established meeting protocols to guide how the Academy’s recommendations and responses should be documented, the report said.
“Committee members became frustrated with how little impact their work seemed to have on cadet training. The fact that Committee members could not observe how the courses under review were being taught further hampered the effectiveness of the process,” the report said.
Kroll’s evaluation also found that there was no defined process for committee recommendations and actionable items.
The evaluation said that committee members did not always speak with one voice and that individual comments inserted into an assortment of documents proved confusing to Academy staff.
“The Committee has often directed its comments and criticisms toward broad-based policing issues impacting American society, rather than specific and well-motivated curriculum changes needed for APD use,” the committee says. assessment.
He added that the ACRC was originally supposed to address how topics such as “DEI principles, de-escalation, trauma-informed content, and adult learning” could be incorporated into the training. However, some of her focus has gone beyond the original allegation, she added the report.
“Ultimately, the process failed to establish true police-community partnership,” the Kroll report said, adding “a lack of trust existed from the beginning that has never been resolved.”
Kroll recommended establishing two specific focus groups:
- Community Advisory Council: It includes “a broad representation of community members” who meet quarterly with APDs to discuss topics of interest. Its primary focus would be “to ensure cadet training includes a thorough understanding of the diverse communities within Austin, the expectations of officers as they interact with community members, and the type of police department the community wants and expects.” “.
- Professional Advisory Board: It includes academic instructors, “subject matter experts,” and cadet academy instructors who create at least two working groups a year to review the curriculum based on their experience. They would “review and review course content supported by evidence-based research and best practices, and recommend improvements to course instruction and delivery.”
If APD decided to keep the ACRC, Kroll recommended improving its mission and process. In addition, he recommended neighborhood strategic planning meetings and that instructors and supervisors “be retrained on the provisions and expectations of the revised Cadet Training Unit SOPs.”
To read the full report, see the following document:
Kroll prepared other reports for APD, including examining the department’s use of force, public interactions, recruiting, selection, and promotions. She also provided recommendations for a “reimagined” cadet classroom curriculum and provided feedback on some of the changes made by the APD.