Joseph T. Geller

Early Intervention Program

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

The Brookline Police Department is aware of the complexities of policing in today's society. In an effort to improve the quality of policing, the department has instituted an early intervention system. This system is a progressive program that involves training, counseling and discipline. It is used to identify officers who may be having difficulty performing police work. By identifying these officers at an early stage, intervention can take place to correct behavior patterns thereby making it less likely they will re-occur in the future. This system also identifies problem areas, training needs and issues that need addressing, in order to provide professional and effective policing.

When a complaint is received regarding the actions of an officer, the Internal Affairs Officer will conduct an investigation. The following steps will be undertaken to rectify the problem:

  1. Meeting between Internal Affairs Officers and officer in question.
  2. Supervising Officer will be notified of complaint against officer in question.
  3. Upon completion of investigation, the supervising officer and officer in question will be notified.
  4. At the discretion of the Chief of Police, a meeting may take place between the supervising officer, officer in question and the Internal Affairs Officer.
  5. If further action is necessary, input is to be received from all present regarding the necessary steps to be taken to insure actions of this type do not re-occur in the future.

The Internal Affairs Officer will monitor all complaints received against police department personnel. Any member of the department who receives three complaints against him/her within a two-year period will be subject to review. During this review, participants have the opportunity to support the officer's actions, identify any particular problems the officer is having, identify potential problem areas within the department and, if necessary, recommend possible remedies.

Recommendations include:

  1. Counseling with supervisors and/or commander.
  2. Additional training.
  3. Referral for medical or psychological fitness examination.
  4. A combination of additional training and supervision.

In the near future we are looking to improve the Early Intervention System by taking advantage of our Field Training Officer (FTO) Program. The officer in need of training will be placed with a FTO for a minimum of two weeks and will be instructed in proper procedures in the problem areas. Daily reports are submitted and weekly review with an officer returning to full duty when the FTO, supervisor and trainee agree.

This program establishes a process of continual training and updating that is necessary in order to maintain a high level of professionalism within the Brookline Police Department. The FTO portion of the program is being implemented in 1999.

For more information, please contact:


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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

Copyright 2000, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.