The Chandler Police Department has improvements to make, according to a review of the department released Monday.
But the number of improvements is relatively small compared with other police departments of similar size, according to the report issued by the Maximus consulting firm.
"This review found a department that has a solid foundation, well-developed policies and practices . . . and men and women that want to perform at a higher level."
After months of interviewing police officers, civilian employees, focus groups and others, Maximus made 48 recommendations in a 227-page report to be presented to the City Council at 7 p.m. Thursday in the City Council chambers.
As part of the review, Maximus examined the incident in which officer Jim Snedigar was killed while attempting to enter an apartment where a robbery suspect had hidden.
Maximus identified several mistakes and suggested improvements. The final report recommended that the Special Assignment Unit be more involved in regular training with other agencies, conduct an annual training exercise with all unit members involved and increase training for members to 16 hours a month.
Community feedback addressed concerns that the department must keep up with the city's growing diversity. The firm recommended the department
improve its outreach programs, with a focus on the Hispanic community.
One of the issues raised by officers was the concern of favoritism or "the good ol' boy system" in promotion and disciplinary processes. Maximus recommended that "police department executives work with the city's human resources department to improve promotional processes that not only will be regarded as fair and equitable, but also to discover those who have attributes to succeed at the next level in the department."
With growth and plans to "decentralize" the department by building police substations in western and southeastern Chandler, Maximus recommended changes in department structure.
The report suggested increasing the number of assistant chiefs. One assistant chief would oversee technical services such as communications and administration, the second would oversee investigations and a third would oversee support operations such as community services. The fourth assistant chief would oversee patrol operations.