Ferguson Police are taking a big step forward in building trust with the public.
It has been almost three years since the shooting of Michael Brown ignited violent unrest. Today, police are still working to rebuild relationships with the community. Their latest effort involves new technology to increase transparency.
“The police officers who are here, they're good officers who stayed because they're committed to Ferguson,” said Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss. “So, you have very proud police officers who are working here, and giving them tools and systems is only making them prouder.”
Their newest tool is a software program called LEFTA Systems. It comes to the department as a $100,000 gift from a former officer turned software company CEO. He says he watched the unrest unfold on the news and knew his software program could help.
“I knew the extreme scrutiny and stress that officers, not only during that time but for years to come, would be under,” said LEFTA CEO Bryan Selzer.
So, if an officer makes contact with a citizen the system records the person's age, race, and gender. It records instances of use of force and whether there were injuries to the citizen or the officer. It also records training records for recruits to pinpoint any issues early, and ensure recruits are being treated fairly. The goal is to eliminate any questions of misconduct and prove to the public when police are doing good work.
“Transparency is huge because one of the things you build is trust. We can't do this job without community trust because we police at the pleasure of the people,” said Moss.
The technology is already in place in nearly 300 departments across the country, including Orlando, San Francisco, and Seattle.