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April 1, 2014

TAP helps Lafayette police improve records efficiency

A recent Purdue Technical Assistance Program project has helped the Lafayette Police Department significantly reduce a backlog of police reports. This was a pilot study of TAP's new high-performance government initiative and served as a first step toward an LPD operational improvement initiative.

LPD was seeking to streamline the workflow of the Records Division, which plays a critical role in keeping the whole department operating smoothly. Last year, the Records Division processed more than 20,000 total cases, a task that required seven full-time employees -- and the division is facing an ever-increasing workload. All of this led to contacting TAP to conduct a study.

Mark Lehto, professor of industrial engineering, and his team worked with LPD's records personnel to conduct a workflow study. Lehto provided analysis and identified changes to improve the efficiency of the division. Records Division personnel provided feedback and suggestions based on these recommendations, which resulted in significant physical changes to the layout of the office and changes in workflow of the division. This combined effort has led to significant improvements in efficiency and eliminated paperwork backlogs that were persistent for months.

"Having a fresh set of eyes examine our processes was critical in identifying changes, says Patrick Flannelly, Lafayette police chief. "We are extremely pleased with the outcomes and are already actively investigating potential future projects with TAP and Purdue University."