General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 5/15/2013
Title 1 - Department Structure and Function
Title 2 - Department Employment
Title 3 - Employee Welfare
Title 4 - Timekeeping
Title 5 - Employee Conduct
Title 6 - Arrests, Search and Seizure
Title 7 - Evidence and Property
Title 8 - Use of Force
Title 9 - Equipment and Uniforms
Title 10 - Police Facilities & Security
Title 11 - Detainee Management
Title 12 - Department Information Systems
Title 13 - Vehicle Operations
Title 14 - Emergency Operations
Title 15 - Primary Investigation
15.210 - Investigating Property Held by a Pawnshop or Used-Goods Store
Title 16 - Patrol Operations
The purpose of this policy is to establish the requirement that inspections and audits be conducted, to provide general guidelines for the frequency that the inspections and audits should occur, and to establish the general procedures for the process of conducting audits or inspections. Additionally, this policy creates the expectation that all employees will work cooperatively with internal auditors and inspectors during the performance of their function.
Inspections and audits of the department shall be conducted on a regular basis to help to ensure that the department is operating at peak efficiency and in compliance with applicable laws, policies, procedures, regulations, and established professional standards for efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with policies, accreditation standards or the adequacy of management controls.
Inspections and audits are a vital part of the department’s assessment of its capabilities and shall be carried out with care, attention to detail, and the full cooperation of all personnel concerned.
A key element of the success of a formal inspection system is the certainty of action taken to remedy deficiencies. Follow-up inspections will be conducted whenever a deficiency is identified, and will continue until the deficiency is corrected. If written documentation is required for an inspection, written documentation shall be required for each follow-up inspection and shall be submitted as prescribed for the original documentation.
Every organizational component of the Department will be the subject of a staff inspection at a minimum of once every three years.
Audits and inspections shall not be likened to, or in any manner perform the function of, the Office of Professional Accountability.
A. Inspection: The process of examining an item or a number of items. The two forms of inspection that exist within the department are line inspections and staff inspections.
1. Line Inspection: Line inspections are conducted by a sergeant or above who have direct command over the resources to be inspected. Line inspections provide the mechanism for an ongoing evaluation of the facilities, equipment, and personnel assigned to a particular unit. There are two types of line inspections: Informal and Formal.
a. Informal: Informal line inspections are conducted during the course of routine operations and may include roll call inspections of uniforms and equipment or spot inspections of equipment or compliance with policies and procedures that are accomplished in the field. Informal line inspections are not designed to result in a written report and any problems identified during the inspection are generally addressed through immediate remedial action, coaching, or correction for future corrective action from the officer’s sergeant. Written reports are generated only when glaring irregularities, serious breaches of policy or misconduct are identified.
b. Formal: Formal line inspections are conducted for the purpose of generating a written report to command personnel. These reports set forth in detail the findings of the inspection, and document specific actions taken to remedy the deficiencies found. Where appropriate, the reports may also include recommendations for long-term resolution of problems discovered during the inspection.
2. Staff Inspection: Staff inspections are independent inspections conducted by persons outside of direct control over the resources to be inspected and are always documented by a formal report. Staff inspections may involve detailed or wide-ranging examinations of departmental operations. They provide Captains with information to evaluate the department’s readiness and effectiveness and provide reliable information to be used in future decision making
B. Audit: The process of examining a process or program from beginning to end by an independent person or body. Financial and performance audits are the two most common audit forms.
1. Financial: Financial auditing provides information on whether an organization is fairly and accurately reporting its financial information and whether or not the organization is in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures. In addition, financial audits ensure that the department cash handling and flow procedures are in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles.
2. Performance: A performance audit is an objective and systematic examination of evidence for the purpose of providing an independent assessment of the performance of a government organization, program, activity or function in order to provide information to improve public accountability and facilitate decision-making by parties with responsibility to oversee or initiate corrective action.
II. Line Inspections
A. Informal Line Inspections
1. Informal line inspections should be conducted frequently both at roll calls and in the field by line sergeants and may either be scheduled or conducted on an ad hoc basis and should focus on individual and unit state of readiness and compliance with policy and procedures. They may include inspection of uniforms, required equipment, assigned equipment, personal appearance, weapons and vehicle maintenance.
2. Sergeants should note the date, location and subject of each informal inspection and will address minor deficiencies discovered during the course of informal line inspections through follow-up inspections.
3. Major deficiencies, serious breaches of policy and violations of law will be reported to the unit captain in a memorandum as soon as practical after the discovery of the deficiency or violation.
B. Formal Line Inspections
1. Formal line inspections should be conducted at least once a year and may be scheduled or conducted on an ad-hoc basis and should focus on the state of readiness of a unit and its personnel. Emphasis should be placed on examination of uniforms, equipment and personal appearance. Firearms will be inspected and serviced annually during qualifications by the Firearms Training Squad staff.
2. Sergeants will document the date time and location of the inspection, the persons inspected, any discrepancies observed, and shall detail the specific actions taken or to be taken to remedy the deficiencies in written report to the unit captain. All major deficiencies, serious breaches of policy or violations of law will be noted in a separate memorandum as soon as practical after they have been identified. Unit captains are responsible for ensuring that all deficiencies are corrected and for scheduling any follow-up inspections that are necessary.
3. Unit captains will forward a copy of the inspection report and a plan of action to correct all deficiencies to the Bureau Chief via the chain of command. The results of each follow-up inspection shall be documented and forwarded in the same manner.
III. Staff Inspections and Audits
A. All staff inspections and audits shall be coordinated and/or conducted by the staff of the Audit, Policy and Research Section under the authority and direction of the Chief of Police.
B. Captains who wish to request a staff inspection or audit be conducted within their command should submit a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of Administration via the chain of command detailing the objectives or questions that they wish to have addressed. The Deputy Chief of Administration will forward approved requests to the Audit, Policy and Research Section for scheduling.
C. The Chief of Police may direct the staff of the Audit, Policy and Research Section to conduct staff inspections or audits of any organizational unit, program, process, or activity of the department. These orders are binding not only to the staff of the Audit, Policy and Research Section but also to the organizational unit to be inspected or audited.
D. Access to Records and Property
1. In accomplishing their mission, the Captain of the Audit, Policy and Research Section and any staff working for the Captain in the course of conducting an audit or inspection, are authorized to have full, free and unrestricted access to all department functions, records, property and personnel, except in areas specifically exempted by statute, regulation or other directive.
2. Employees shall furnish to the Audit, Policy and Research Section staff all information and records within their custody and control regarding the powers, duties, activities, organization, property, financial transactions, and methods of business of the department that the section requires to conduct an audit or inspection, or to otherwise perform their audit and inspection duties.
3. Employees shall provide access for the Audit, Policy and Research Section staff to inspect all department property, equipment and facilities within their custody and control.
E. General Procedures
1. Staff Inspections and Audits will be conducted following the general procedures established by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
2. A written report outlining the risks and deficiencies discovered will be published at the conclusion of each staff inspection or audit. The report will identify the risks and deficiencies that are discovered as a result of the audit or inspection and shall make recommendations to correct deficiencies or mitigate the risks identified.
3. When risks or deficiencies cannot be corrected immediately, follow-up inspections shall be scheduled to examine the progress in achieving the desired state. A written report will be published documenting the results of follow-up inspections.