The police department audit was prompted by a detailed list of
complaints that Mayor Beth Davis received from Logan County State's
Attorney Timothy J. Huyett last year.
It was determined to hire a professional in law enforcement
operations, and then the funds to perform an audit were sought.
These steps were all in process when a copy of the complaints was
The council approved hiring a consultant to audit city
departments in December. Stuart Ehrlenbush of Critical Incident
Management was hired to perform the police department audit for a
fee not to exceed $10,000.
The mayor said that she would share the findings of that audit as
soon as practical after it was completed. Since that time city
attorney Bill Bates advised the mayor and the city council that
certain material -- an internal audit of a public body, such as this
report -- is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
However, Davis said, "The city council and I are mindful of the
public interest in this matter. Therefore we have carefully reviewed
the audit report with the thought in mind of releasing some portions
of the same in an attempt to keep the public informed, but
simultaneously protecting the interests of the city of Lincoln with
respect to this report."
Also provided was the cost for the study. The police department
review was paid for out of drug forfeiture funds.
Below you will find the portions deemed suitable for public
interests: the executive summary and conclusion. These are followed
by an accounting of the expenditures paid to the consultant.
Past related materials
(Copy from scanned
report file follows.)
Police Department Audit
Stuart R. Erlenbush,
Critical Incident Management, L.L.P.
March 28, 2007
In December, 2006, I
entered into a contract (Appendix A) with the Mayor of the City of
Lincoln to conduct an audit of the Lincoln Police Department (LPD).
The purpose of the audit was to obtain a snapshot of the current
status of the department regarding several areas of concentration.
The audit included a review of existing policies and procedures, the
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) contract, training, report writing,
patrol procedures, and relationships with other criminal justice
Lincoln, Illinois is
located in central Illinois, approximately 22 miles north of
Springfield with a population of approximately 16,700. The Lincoln
Illinois Police Department is an agency of 24 total sworn officers
and 1 clerical staff. There are 11 Officers, 4 Corporals, 5
Sergeants, 2 Detective Sergeants, an Assistant Chief, and Chief of
Police. The youngest officer is 26 years of age and the oldest is 52
years of age. There are four officers that are eligible to retire
this year, one next year, and two in 2010. These statistics are
important in that five command level officers are eligible to leave
the department in less than two years.
(See chart below.)
The Lincoln Police
Department offices are located at the Logan County Safety Complex,
911 Pekin St., Lincoln, Illinois. The office space is very limited.
Over the past several years, the squad room in the basement has been
converted to office space for ESDA. Additionally, the locker room in
the basement is currently being converted to the new 911 Center in
the Complex. The Evidence Room is completely full with no where to
During the initial
phase of the audit, I did a complete review of the FOP Contract and
the Policy Manual. This review included numerous notes and comments
regarding suggested changes and revisions to the Policy Manual and
the FOP Contract. A review of numerous LPD investigative reports was
also completed based on identified concerns from the Logan County
States Attorney's Office. Additionally, I conducted a meeting with
Tim Huyett, Logan County States Attorney, Brad Chamberlain,
Assistant Logan County States Attorney, and Tim Markwell, Assistant
Logan County States Attorney. Huyett, Chamberlain, and Markwell
provided commentary to their written communications previously
provided to Mayor Beth Davis and LPD Chief Robert Rawlins.
Additionally, I interviewed Steve Nichols, Logan County Sheriff,
Carla Bender, Logan County Circuit Clerk, Master Sergeant Michael
Luster, Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations, Honorable David
Coogan, Logan County Circuit Judge, and Logan County Coroner Robert
I interviewed every
officer in the agency and the one civilian employee. While there was
some hesitation at the start of the initial interviews, all officers
opened up and spoke quite candidly. The shortest interview lasted
approximately 30 minutes and the longest took approximately 3 hours
and 30 minutes. Most of the interviews lasted 1 to 2 hours. The
lengthy interviews were a direct result of the relationship between
LPD and the States Attorney's Office and exacerbated by the
newspaper articles. I prepared an interview template composed of
numerous questions in each of the following areas: Training,
Command Officers, Policy Manual, Promotional Process, FOP Contract,
Report Writing, Patrol Techniques, Relationships With Outside
Agencies, and Major Issues Confronting the Police Department.
Each of the officers
were asked identical questions.
I was provided with a
large number of Lincoln Police Department investigative reports for
review. I spent a considerable amount of time randomly reviewing
these files to gain a perspective of their content. This was
valuable information utilized during the officer interviews.
Additionally, I reviewed traffic accident and incident/arrest data
from which I derived various
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During the audit period I conducted
numerous interviews with Chief Robert Rawlins concerning a myriad of
issues. I met with Mayor Davis on numerous occasions, keeping her
apprised of the progress of the audit. On occasion, I met or spoke
with City Attorney William Bates.
I believe that LPD is
a department comprised of capable officers mired in controversy.
Strong leadership may be the key to overcoming the current
situation. A sense of direction including setting goals and
objectives will be paramount to getting all officers on the same
page. A focus on training is critical to ensure that all officers
have the same knowledge and understanding of Criminal Law, Illinois
Vehicle Code, Case Laws, Use of Force (Force Continuum), Laws of
Arrest, Search and Seizure, and Defensive Tactics/Weapons Retention,
and Lincoln Police Department Policies.
Morale is an issue to
be dealt with. There were some officers that have experienced "burn
out" and some that would retire, if they could. The majority of the
officers appear eager to do their best and like their job. All
members of the department must raise their heads and take an active
part in improving the image of the department. They must take pride
in their positions and do their very best to restore the confidence
of the citizens.
Additionally, I have
provided a number of recommendations that can be taken and projects
implemented for improving the performance of the department:
1. Conduct traffic
surveys and mapping which will identify areas in need of directed
2. Conduct criminal
activity analysis and mapping and share with patrol officers
3. Continue to conduct
a Policy Review to update current policies and add others
4. Seek grants for the
purchase of more Mobile Data Computers and other identified
5. Identify or develop
Training for Supervisors
6. Begin monitoring,
on a monthly basis, all officer activity to ensure productivity and
7. Begin utilizing
command officers as staff to the Chief to assist with mandated
8. Begin conducting
annual performance ratings of all officers
9. Begin regular
departmental meetings to enhance communications within the
10. Conduct a review
of every critical incident involving LPD Officers with the entire
11. Initiate monthly
meetings with the States Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Department,
Circuit Court Judges, County Clerk, Coroner, and Probation Office
12. Conduct one daily
meeting or briefing with the Sheriff's Department to share police
issues within the city and the county and to share criminal
13. Approach the
Sheriff to explore the feasibility of the Sheriff's detective
working with the LPD detectives and sharing criminal activity
pursue all available grant opportunities
15. Identify a
training source for How to Deal with the Mentally Ill
16. Initiate a monthly
or bi-monthly meeting between the Chief and the public to address
17. Assign an LPD
Officer or clerical staff as the department Court Officer to obtain
monthly case status and disposition reports
18. Take immediate
action to address every issue contained in the States Attorney's
memo dated May 22, 2006
19. Begin working with
the Police and Fire Commission, Mayor, and City Council to change
the rank structure
These actions will
change the dynamics in the agency and provide a proactive approach
in addressing the responsibilities of the department. Communications
and close interaction with the other agencies in the criminal
justice system will enhance the effectiveness of the agency and
afford the opportunity to address any issues that may arise.
The job of a police
officer is difficult. Police officers are required to run toward the
gunfire when everyone else is running away. They are forced to make
split second decisions while the public sits back and second-guesses
from the safety of their homes or news rooms. Officers in all
agencies make mistakes at times. Officers in the Lincoln Police
Department have made mistakes. The mistakes that I am aware of can
be remedied through strong leadership, communications, training, and
a constant commitment to do better.
This report is based
on information supplied by members of the Lincoln Police Department,
numerous members of the Logan County Criminal Justice Agencies,
police reports, policy manual, FOP Contract, and statistical data
provided by LPD. All comments and recommendations, are mine, based
on over 28 years of experience as a police officer. It is up to
Lincoln Police Department to act on those recommendations they deem
appropriate. The Lincoln Police Department has a number of fine
officers eager to serve the citizens of the city. Their reputation
and image has been tarnished, but their will is not broken. Changes
are needed and will be welcomed by most officers.
I would like to thank
the Mayor and City Council of Lincoln, Illinois for the opportunity
to conduct this audit. I hope the information proves beneficial to
each of you in your oversight of the agency. I would also like to
thank the members of the Lincoln Police Department for their
cooperation and candidness with me during this endeavor.
If you have any
questions concerning this report, my contact information follows:
Stuart R. Erlenbush
Critical Incident Management L.L.P.
Mt. Pulaski, Illinois 62548
Department Audit Checks Paid to Critical Incident Management
(See chart below.)