ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — Rochester Police are asking the City Council to fund a partnership between them and a software company that could track an officer’s performance in the field and detects if they’re in need of more training or other help. Before complaints of misconduct boil over.  

This proposal would give Benchmark Analytics, a Chicago-based company, already partnering with 150 police departments around the nation, a contract with RPD to put all their data and systems under one umbrella to examine if an officer’s engagement with the public can be linked to how long they’re working, their training, past interactions, and more.  

Developed in part by the University of Chicago, Benchmark Analytics uses algorithms to connect an officer’s community engagement, training methods, use of force, and performance all into one profile. Then track any potential pattern of misconduct.  

“We can also incorporate how many hours that officer has worked this week, or that month or whatever that may be,” Public Information Officer Lt. Greg Bello explained. “How much overtime has that officer worked, how much sick time? So, we can start to identify some potential problems and solutions. What training has that officer received a lot of training in our department does not go department-wide.” 

One of the goals is to give supervisors more tools to check in on how their teams are performing in the field and more of a heads up on if an officer needs to re-visit their training or get help in another way. 

“Maybe we need to sit this officer down and ask what’s going on in your life? Or is there something going on so we can connect them to our wellness unit,” Lt. Bello added. “Or some services before it rises to something to where it’s gotten out of control and we’re talking about it in the news versus let’s get ahead of this beforehand.”  

This plan would cost $500,000 over a five-year period. Money the Locust Club Union feels can be invested in better ways to grow the force. President Mike Mazzeo says their patrol division has fewer than 300 officers.  

“They have everything at their fingertips now to have the same information this data talks about,” President Mazzeo stated. “But is this what’s needed? We have far more good officers that need support and when you invest in the workforce all those other problems will diminish.”  

For him, the best way to gain public trust is to practice more in-person relations with the community.  

“Technology, however, the biggest downside is the diminishment of human involvement and we’re talking about human interaction,” President Mazzeo argued. “Some of the biggest issues or problems we have is the interaction between community and police.” 

President Mazzeo says they’ve submitted a letter to City Council ahead of the vote calling for it to not be approved. City Council Is set to vote on this legislation Dec, 20th