Report 2012-107 Recommendation 8 Responses
Report 2012-107: Developmental Centers: Poor-Quality Investigations, Outdated Policies, Leadership and Staffing Problems, and Untimely Licensing Reviews Put Residents at Risk (Release Date: July 2013)
Recommendation #8 To: Developmental Services, Department of
To ensure that it has adequate numbers of staff to properly and promptly investigate developmental center incidents, the department should address the high number of vacancies within OPS by instituting a formal recruitment program in accordance with the guidance provided in the California State Personnel Board's Merit Selection Manual, as well as using input from OPS law enforcement personnel.
1-Year Agency Response
OPS established an Internet Web site with specific information about the Department, exam information, and position vacancies. The new webpage was fully implemented January 16, 2014.
The Department posts all OPS vacancies to the California Peace Officers Association, the California State Sheriffs Association, and the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) websites.
Updated recruitment pamphlets were distributed to all OPS commands on
March 27, 2014 to assist with ongoing local recruitment efforts.
After further evaluation, OPS has elected not to pursue establishing a recruitment page on Facebook because OPS officers and investigators are required to possess a Basic POST Certificate and Facebook does not provide the ability to identify and reach the target audience.
On November 27, 2013, DDS revised the examination process for the Peace Officer I classification. It was changed from a traditional Qualifications Appraisal Panel to a new Training and Experience Examination. This has expedited the examination process and allowed the Department to administer quarterly examinations. During the fourth quarter of 2013, OPS received 28 applications for the examination. During the first quarter of 2014, it received 13 more applications.
Between July 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014, a total of 37 candidates were selected for positions within OPS after a hiring interview. Of those 37 candidates, 10 were hired, 16 did not successfully complete the background/medical/psychological processes, and 11 candidates are currently in various stages of a background investigation. During this same period, 14 OPS employees separated from the Department.
- Completion Date: January 2014
- Response Date: June 2014
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented
6-Month Agency Response
With the assistance of Cooperative Personnel Services, the OPS Chief instituted a Formal Recruitment Plan on September 27, 2013. Accordingly, recruitment pamphlets and brochures have been updated.
The Department has increased access to all OPS vacancies by posting them on the California Peace Officers Association and the California State Sheriff's Association websites.
OPS has established an Internet webpage with specific information about the Department, exam information, and position vacancies. The new webpage will be fully implemented in January 2014.
Ongoing recruitment efforts include: regularly visiting law enforcement academies to connect with potential recruits; and establishing a presence on social media (Facebook). Other elements of the recruitment plan are underway and ongoing.
It is important to note that as of December 2, 2013, the OPS vacancy rate has been reduced by nearly 15 percent, from the reported 42.8 percent to 28.2 percent (adjusted for investigator vacancies that will not be filled due to the declining population and closure status of Lanterman Developmental Center [DC]), with an additional seven candidates currently undergoing a background investigation.
- Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2014
- Response Date: January 2014
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented
60-Day Agency Response
DDS is implementing this recommendation. It is important to note that as of September 1, 2013, the OPS vacancy rate has been reduced by nearly 10 percent, from the reported 42.8 percent to 33.3 percent, with an additional eight candidates currently undergoing a background investigation.
The developmental centers have experienced difficulty in attracting qualified candidates for Peace Officer and Investigator positions due to the facility locations, declining resources, and the potential downsizing of jobs resulting from a moratorium on admissions and a decrease in the number of individuals residing in developmental centers. The Department, with the assistance of Cooperative Personnel Services (CPS), developed and implemented a Formal Recruitment Plan for the Peace Officer and Investigator classifications. OPS and the Human Resources Section of DDS worked closely with CPS to identify the critical skills, knowledge and abilities for these positions and explored various options for focused recruitment of well-qualified candidates. The Department has also increased access to all OPS vacancies by posting them on the California Peace Officers Association and the California State Sheriff's Association Web sites.
- Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2013
- Response Date: September 2013
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.