CHARLOTTE, N.C. – [June 24, 2021] – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) launched the new CommUNITY Collaboration customer experience training and curriculum today internally, which makes CMPD the first law enforcement agency in the country to develop a strategic approach as well as curriculum around ways to improve audience engagement.
"We had over 515,000 citizen contacts last year, and each encounter could benefit from this work," said CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings. "We are constantly reviewing and revising policies to improve and evolve. We developed this training and curriculum to equip our employees with more tools as they interact with each other, residents, victims, and suspects considering we are facing such a historically difficult time in policing, and this training is relevant to every position, sworn and civilian."
The DiJulius Group, a customer service training and consultancy out of Cleveland, Ohio, partnered with CMPD last fall 2020 to advise and guide the department through this process as well as lead workshops, dozens of discovery interviews across all ranks and positions, and conducted several discussions, meetings and focus groups.
"This is a total game changer for policing and the public stereotype," said John R. DiJulius III, president of The DiJulius Group. "The ongoing commitment CMPD is making will not only raise the bar for police departments, but businesses from other industries will want to replicate what is happening in Charlotte."
John DiJulius, CEO of The DiJulius Group, led a world-class customer experience workshop in Charlotte in January 2021 with more than 150 participants across ranks and positions where employees started to build the foundation for this program.
Some of the work CMPD developed for its curriculum include modernized communication techniques between CMPD employees and their customers, the creation of "a day in the life" of a customer and employee videos, role playing and engagement scenarios. CMPD employees developed the training and curriculum, and CMPD employees will instruct the training as well.
"My vision is to bring a world-class hospitality culture to policing here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg," said Chief Jennings. "Why can't we look at a customer service base to ensure we are serving our customers in a professional and courteous manner? You go into Chick-fil-A. The employees are always polite, friendly and the food is consistent. So, when you leave there, you have a good feeling about your interactions with them. Why can't we look at that and say we want to provide that customer service to our citizens? When we leave, we give them a good feeling about their interactions with the police as best as we possibly can. That does not mean if someone is shooting a gun at you, you are going to hug them or be polite with them. It means we are going to do our part in ensuring that interaction is done in a professional and courteous manner."
Training includes approximately one hour of online work in the department's online training system as well as a four-hour in-person classroom training at the Police Academy once the online training has been completed. Reinforcement training will be ongoing at rollcalls and team meetings daily to reinforce the work presented during the launch and in the online and classroom trainings.
CMPD conducted a nationwide survey of law enforcement agencies to determine if any had customer experience programs or training in place. Based on the results received, it was determined CMPD would be the first agency in the country to launch a formalized program with training and a curriculum included.
Click here to listen to Chief Johnny Jennings on John DiJulius' Customer Service Revolution podcast about world-class hospitality in law enforcement from March 24, 2021.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, www.cmpd.org, is a progressive, technology-driven, metropolitan department that believes strongly in the principles of crime management, community collaboration, professional accountability and employee wellness. The department employs more than 1,900 sworn officers, 500 civilian employees and 500 volunteers. If the public has information about a crime, anonymous tips can be provided to Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com.