The Guardian Tracking Story
Leon Wasilewski and Mike Reed joined the Anderson (IN) Police Department in the late 1970s. They patrolled together, became detectives, and retired at the rank of lieutenant. Leon’s career path was in supervisory support; Mike’s was in operations.
Early on, the importance of “little black book” employee record-keeping became obvious: the notes surfaced every year, in performance evaluations.
In those reviews, Mike and Leon asked themselves the same questions most employees ask: “Why wait 6-9 months to tell us about the mistakes we had made?” “Isn’t it more effective to have immediate feedback?” “Isn’t one of the purposes of documentation to improve employee performance?” They soon realized that managing employee performance is much more of a process than an event, a daily process that includes timely feedback, informal training, counseling, guidance, etc.
Both confusing and frustrating were the sometimes drastic interdepartmental inconsistencies in the way documentation and data were recorded and maintained. Often each unit within the agency maintained its own file, and one unit could not use the input from another – even in the rare circumstances when it was available.
In the early 1990s, Leon became the APD’s accreditation manager; both he and Mike were CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) assessors. This exposure showed them that the problems of employee performance documentation were universal.
The officers struggled to develop or find a solution for the APD, but it became obvious that their home-grown systems and even expensive commercial systems couldn’t meet the department’s needs for comprehensive, timely, transparent, transferable, and objective employee performance documentation; nor did they provide a system that could aid “early warning” or “early intervention” programs.
Necessity Breeds Innovation
In the fall of 2006, Leon clearly realized that law enforcement needed some type of software which would record and maintain employee performance documentation while flagging possible behavior patterns for evaluation and intervention.
So, in early 2007, Leon approached accomplished software developer Nick Riggs with the problem. Nick proposed that Leon was the best person to design the operating specifications and do the marketing of the software himself. Leon called Mike, and within a week Nick was in Anderson for a meeting; and Guardian Tracking was born and continues to evolve.
Empowering Dedicated Professionals to Thrive
Every day has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to public safety. Whether you’re a Police Chief running an entire department or a Sergeant in charge of your officers, there’s much to juggle in order to encourage your team and give them a path to empowered leadership that streamlines your department without missing a beat.
As a leader, it’s difficult to combat some of the recurring issues within your field. Whether you’re struggling with teamwork, engagement, and turnover or striving to improve public perception, dealing with the consistency of documentation, seeing the same measures fall short time and time again leaves you feeling frustrated. Working long hours without seeing the impact is a stressful reminder that passion and dedication does not always equal ease and consistent improvement.
You need a tool that will help you not only manage your team well and increase efficiencies but make it easy for you to empower your officers to become leaders and feel in charge of and engaged with their work. And you need it from a team who has been there themselves. You need Guardian Tracking. We’ve been in police departments ourselves, we know firsthand the struggles you face and the particularities of the environments in which you live day-to-day. We know what it takes to improve and keep improving, from morale and culture to the numbers you need to meet.
Our system currently helps over 1100 organizations to ensure higher performance, create more consistent and accurate documentation, improve employee engagement and morale, build trust, and create a clear path for more empowered leaders. We understand that the work you do day in and day out has tremendous meaning and impact for the communities you serve. Our system is there to amplify that work and make it easier for you to manage so you can focus on inspiring your team and guiding them to greater success.