Can big data stop bad cops?

Justice told the Harvey Police Department in suburban Chicago to adopt a system in 2012 after its officers were accused of excessive force. The department’s system logged tardiness and grooming violations, but it failed to track lawsuits alleging misconduct or abuse, The Post found.

The New Orleans Police Department’s system was found in 2011 to be “outdated and essentially exists in name only,” Justice said. Rank-and-file officers mocked the system and considered inclusion a “badge of honor.”

Early intervention systems are supposed to collect a wide range of public and private information and use predictive modeling to determine whether officers are prone to misconduct. Once an officer is flagged, a supervisor is supposed to intervene, heading off potential problems.

Justice, which has investigated dozens of police departments nationwide for civil rights violations, considers early intervention systems critical to reforming embattled agencies. Some of the troubled police departments had early intervention systems and collected information about officers’ behavior but did nothing with the data, investigators found.

“There was nobody actually reading it, or looking at it and evaluating it, and then taking action thereafter,” said Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division.