March 10, 2019

Media mention: “South Whitehall police purchase software to better track use-of-force incidents”

An article in New Jersey newspaper “The Morning Call” reports on IAPro and BlueTeam being purchased for use at South Whitehall Police Department.

New software within the South Whitehall Township Police Department will provide better tracking of use-of-force incidents and other internal affair matters, according to Chief Glen Dorney. (THE MORNING CALL FILE PHOTO)

South Whitehall police purchase software to better track use-of-force incidents

South Whitehall police are purchasing software that will provide better record-keeping for internal affairs issues and reduce the force’s civil liability exposure, according to police Chief Glen Dorney.

The township commissioners approved the department’s $15,650 purchase of the IAPro and Blue Team system software during Wednesday’s board meeting. Dorney, the former Allentown police chief, said the software proved effective during his time at that department.

The software will provide a uniform, digital record-keeping space for incident reports pertaining to use-of-force, internal discipline, complaints and pursuits. Dorney said this will allow more accurate and effective audited reviews and gives department command staff immediate access to such records in real-time.

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Many other police departments, particularly those who are state accredited like South Whitehall, have taken to using this kind of software, Dorney said.

Any time an officer uses force during an arrest, Dorney said the department launches an internal probe. But records are usually only kept in cases where someone is injured, he said. The misleading perception this can create is that every use of force involving an officer in South Whitehall results in injury, Dorney said.

“And that’s not true,” Dorney said. “Force is used often, but most people don’t get injured.”

South Whitehall police were looking into purchasing IAPro prior to the fatal July 28 police shooting of Joseph Santos on Hamilton Boulevard. Rookie South Whitehall officer Jonathan Roselle has been charged with manslaughter in the case and is awaiting trial. He lost his job over the shooting.

Dorney said the acquisition of this kind of technology is part of a wider department-wide effort to continually improve the inner workings of the force.

“We are constantly reviewing our policies and procedures to see where we can better ourselves as a department in a proactive manner,” he said.