Departments use technology to ID troubled officers

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police agencies across the U.S. are using technology to identify problem officers before their misbehavior harms innocent people, embarrasses the city, or results in a lawsuit.

Such "early warning systems" are often treated as a cure-all, experts say, despite little research on their effectiveness or if they're even being properly used.

Over the last decade, they've become the gold standard in accountability policing. A computerized system is used by at least 39 percent of law enforcement agencies.

Experts say an early warning system can be a powerful tool, but it's only as good as the people and departments using it.

The inspector general for the Los Angeles Police Department recently determined that the agency's $33-million early warning system was seemingly ineffective in identifying officers who ultimately were terminated.

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