How a retired cop is helping solve the LE hiring crisis through technology
After sustaining an injury on patrol, Justin Biedinger went to the background unit, where he got an idea to help every law enforcement agency in the U.S.
Content provided by Guardian Alliance Technologies
By Justin Biedinger
The decision to give someone a gun and badge isn't one that should be taken lightly.
A bad hire can cost a law enforcement agency reputational damage and destroy public trust. On top of that, an agency can be saddled with significant financial cost if that hire ends up being the subject of sustained citizen complaints or lawsuits.
That's why thorough background investigations are critically important. A background investigator is tasked with doing their best to predict an applicant's future actions based on their past actions.
It was a shock for me to learn one of the most important processes in our industry – our background investigation process – is still one of the most archaic processes that exists in police departments and sheriff's offices across the country.
Technology can and should be leveraged to update these old pen-and-paper processes to make them more efficient. Technology can also help a background investigator find much more information, faster.
Coming up with a solution to fix the problem
I spent my entire policing career with the Stockton Police Department in Stockton, California. After spending over a decade in patrol, I entered the background unit. There, I investigated hundreds of applicants. Our background unit averaged over 1,500 investigations per year. I was able to see first-hand that the manual process was creating challenges and making it difficult to do a thorough investigation in a timely manner. I even saw good applicants withdraw from the hiring process because it simply took too long to get hired.
I remember sitting in team meetings discussing how we could do things better. And, for about a year, I heard the same complaints about inefficiency and how long the process took to complete a background investigation. I thought there had to be a better way.
Even though I knew nothing about creating software, I started sketching out processes on a piece of paper. Every time I doubted myself, I shoved that piece of paper in a drawer at my desk in the background unit. But every few days, I kept pulling it out and adding to it.
I knew it was time to come up with a solution to fix this problem for the entire industry. The solution has taken years to develop and perfect, but it's now helping hundreds of law enforcement agencies in nearly every state in the country.
Streamlining the background investigation process
Guardian's investigation software helps speed up the time it takes to investigate an applicant and it has streamlined the process. I feel the success comes from the fact that the software was created by a real-life background investigator and not someone who has had no real experience hiring law enforcement personnel.
Guardian has brought many law enforcement agencies out of the dark age. They're abandoning archaic pen-and-paper processes and adopting this efficient, effective and easy-to-use solution, which helps them make better use of taxpayer dollars.
I am excited and proud that we at Guardian are improving the hiring process of our law enforcement personnel. We take this mission very seriously and are always looking out for our law enforcement family.
We have partnered with some great companies, and our company is growing at our fastest rate ever as more law enforcement agencies and private investigation firms are joining the Guardian Alliance.
Law enforcement simply can't afford to do this process the way we've always done it. It's time to move background investigations into the 21st century.
To learn more, visit Guardian's website and request an online demonstration of our software.
About the author
Justin Biedinger is the founder, president and director of Guardian Alliance Technologies, Inc. and a director of Guardian Alliance Holdings, Inc. Justin spent four years in the U.S. Navy working in the intelligence community before joining the Stockton Police Department in Stockton, California, where he worked for 13 years. Justin spent most of his policing career working in different assignments within patrol before joining the background investigation unit to assist in hiring new officers.