Chief Harvey's Message
(June 9, 2020) – The entire Allen Police Department is saddened and outraged by the death of George Floyd and other victims of injustice. As the Chief of Police, I share our community’s high expectations for the men and women charged with keeping our community safe. Police officers swear an oath to serve and protect citizens, and we join law enforcement professionals across the nation in grief and anger when this oath is not upheld. Actions such as these place an indelible stain on the hard work and dedication of a vast number of officers.
We are stewards of your trust and strive each day to maintain it through transparency, accountability, adherence to best practices, ongoing training and overall customer service. The continuous improvement of our agency and our profession is one of our highest goals and we constantly evaluate the ways we are accomplishing that goal in partnership with the Allen community. Because of this, we are using this time to review our policies and procedures as well as listening to community concerns.
Following best practices
The Allen Police Department (APD) was an early adopter of the Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices Recognition Program through the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation. To become a Best Practice Agency, departments must comply with 166 best practice standards covering 12 critical areas of operation, including: use of force; search, seizure and arrest; care, custody and restraint of prisoners; and selection and hiring of officers, among others. APD achieved recognition as a Best Practice Agency in 2007 and has maintained this status each year to date.
APD uses a professional consultant to perform quarterly audits and compile, analyze and report racial profiling in accordance with Texas Racial Profiling reporting requirements. Additionally, body worn video review is conducted by supervisors on a regular and frequent basis.
Philosophy of policing
APD practices community-oriented policing which focuses on building ties and working closely with all members of the community. Some of these specific initiatives include our School Resource Officer partnership with Allen Independent School District (AISD), Citizens Police Academy, Citizen on Patrol, Volunteers in Policing, Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Training and Project H.O.M.E. Details about these programs are available on the Community Relations web page.
Additional outreach includes AISD summer camps, tours of Allen Police Headquarters and, recently due to the pandemic, birthday and other special event parades. We are exploring new ways to connect with our community through virtual communication, as became necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hiring and training practices
Ethical policing begins with candidate screening. Applicants for law enforcement employment complete extensive preliminary interview questionnaires and personal history statements. They are interviewed, given polygraph tests and are psychologically evaluated. Character references, prior supervisors and co-workers are contacted. These initial contacts are asked for additional individuals to be interviewed to expand the department’s view of each candidate. Candidates are asked a myriad of questions that include why they want to join law enforcement and information about their associations. This extensive qualification process is designed to determine their potential for racism, bias and discrimination.
If accepted as recruits, candidates are further evaluated throughout a 26-week academy that includes instruction on professional policing, professionalism and ethics, cultural diversity, multiculturalism and human relations, communications and problem solving, crisis intervention training, de-escalation, ethics and mental health issues.
Upon graduation, recruits are placed in a 17-week field training program that scores new officers daily in 30 different categories including acceptance of criticism, attitude toward police work, problem solving and decision making, conflict control (verbal and physical) and relational skills with the public, ethnic groups, other officers and supervisors.
Considering the application process, basic training and field training, new officers are evaluated for approximately one year before receiving clearance to work independently within our community.
Addressing citizen concerns
When officers violate the public trust, it is right to question and condemn their actions. We greatly value the citizens who bring concerns before us, whether as the result of personal interactions with Allen Police Department employees or due to events happening on a national scale. As the Chief, I work to be accessible and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are committed to continuous improvement as we serve the Allen community. We solicit feedback through citizen surveys following many types of common police calls. We also encourage members of the public to share their experiences with Allen law enforcement—whether positive or negative—by commending or reporting a police officer online. We know this accountability leads to a better department and a safer community for everyone.
Chief Brian Harvey
Allen Police Department
Allen Police Department has shared the policies and best practices which guide our department in eight areas of police action/accountability commonly known as “8 Can’t Wait.” Learn more.