GLEN CARBON - At the Glen Carbon Village Board meeting of March 9, Police Chief Todd Link introduced Derek Wise to report to the Mayor and Board of Trustees on a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis he conducted on the Glen Carbon Police Department. In his introduction of Wise, Chief Link said, “In the wake of tragedies within law enforcement over the last few years – especially the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota – I believed I should seek an outside expert in law enforcement to conduct an objective review of our police department in 5 key areas: operations, training, use of force, community engagement, and recruitment.”

Link said he his lieutenants discussed other candidates to conduct the review, but chose Wise because “in addition to being an Army veteran, he possesses nearly 30 years of experience in law enforcement, including time as a municipal police officer, county deputy, and Illinois State Trooper, as well as being known as an excellent trainer and consultant throughout this region.” Wise currently serves as a Major in the Illinois State Police at District 11 in Collinsville.

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Wise stated his assessment included a review of policies and procedures, an examination of data, first-hand observances of performance, interviews of internal staff and external stakeholders, as well as ride-alongs with patrol officers. Wise commended Link for engaging in this type of review and having the courage to identify and address potential problem areas. Wise assured the Mayor and Board that Link and his staff cooperated fully with the internal review and “gave me full access to anything or anyone I needed any time of day as part of my evaluation and assessment.”

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Wise said he would make his full report available to the Village of Glen Carbon so it can be shared with residents. Wise summarized his report by saying, “the men and women of the Glen Carbon Police Department are highly professional and dedicated to serving their community. They have benefitted from the transformational leadership of Chief Link and his command staff. They follow a Best Practices approach in the examined areas while maintaining a balance between engaging in proactive policing and fostering strong, working relationships to solve problems through community policing.”

Wise pointed out Use of Force as an excellent example of the Best Practices approach employed by the Glen Carbon Police Department and noted the police department follows the most up-to-date policies and procedures and trains extensively in key use of force areas – including training on de-escalation and gaining voluntary compliance. Wise also pointed out some areas for growth, most notably the need for the Glen Carbon Police Department to attract a more diverse sworn officer staff. Wise clarified, “but Chief Link and his staff are fighting a two headed monster in this area. Negative connotations from the media and public sentiment are driving down the numbers of people who want to be police officers, and, as a result, fewer and fewer minorities apply at all for cop jobs.”

Link thanked Wise for his in-depth review and report, and said “my goal for this project was to identify where we are doing well and where we can improve. The truth is we can always do better, and we will keep working hard to best serve the needs of our residents and our community.”

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