Charlotte-Mecklenburg police use technology to analyze officers

CHARLOTTE, NC — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Wednesday it is using new technology to analyze its officer and identify ones who are "most at risk of having undesirable interactions with the community or preventable accidents or injuries."

At a news briefing, Capt. Mark Santaniello likened the Early Intervention System to the same kind of algorithm technology used by Netflix or Amazon. They use customers' history to predict what you'd like to watch or buy.

In this case, the technology would look for stress brought on by such things as working difficult cases or issues in an officer's personal life that could lead them to a public interaction that breaks the rules.

"We want to be able to provide them financial planning if necessary, because if an officer is working a midnight shift and they're working 20-plus hours of secondary employment, you have to ask, 'When are they sleeping? How are they taking care of themselves? Are they working out? Are they eating well?'" Santaniello said.

CMPD said the "goal is to have the best police force possible. By uncovering potential for incidents before they occur, we can get officers the assistance they need before something happens. We would argue this has the potential to save officers’ jobs, taxpayers’ money and people’s lives."

"We're not trying to pry into an officer's personal life, per say," Santaniello said.

Since November, three officers have been cited for termination.

Investigators checked and the software said all of them exhibited early-warning signs.

"I looked at their most recent case and low and behold, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back," Santaniello said.

Police started using the program in November and since then, 27 officers have been flagged.

Ten of them required no intervention, 15 needed counseling, seven needed additional training and employee had to go through an assistance program.

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