is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police
departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been
established for the profession, by the profession.
These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of
police management, operations, and technical support activities.
They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response
planning, training, communications, property and evidence
handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner
transportation and holding facilities. The program not only sets
standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the
delivery of police services to citizens of the
Accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation
Commission is considered a very significant accomplishment, and
is a recognition that is highly regarded by the law enforcement
community,” said Donna Taylor Mooers, the Commission’s Executive
Commission offers two program awards: Certification and
Accreditation, with Accreditation being the higher of the two.
Accreditation has been granted for a period of three years.
Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.
Police Department obtained Certification on March 6, 2008. The
Department was awarded their 1st Accreditation on January 28,
2010. The Department was awarded their 1st Re-Accreditation on
May 2, 2013.
COMPOSITION OF THE COMMISSION
Commission consists of an eleven member Board of Directors.
Six members are appointed by the Massachusetts Chiefs of
Police Association, two by the Coalition of Accreditation
Managers of Massachusetts, one by the Massachusetts
Municipal Association and one by the Massachusetts Police
Association. The eleventh member is left for the
Board to elect; that member must be affiliated with an academic
institution. According to Mooers, “the Commission’s
primary role is to establish and administer both the standards
and the assessment process by which departments meeting
accreditation standards can be publicly recognized for their
Massachusetts is one of twenty-four states that offer an
accreditation process for its police departments.
BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION
for accreditation impact officer and public safety, address high
liability/risk management issues, and generally promote
operational efficiency throughout the agency. The benefits
are therefore many and will vary among participating departments
based on the state of the department when it enters the
process. In other words, the benefits will be better known
when the department quantifies the changes that it made as a
direct result of achieving accreditation. Generally, these
changes involve policy writing, facility improvements and
equipment purchases. Listed below are some of the more common
Accreditation is important because it:
provides a norm for an
agency to judge its performance.
provides a basis to
correct deficiencies before they become public problems.
requires agencies to
commit policies and procedures to writing.
among agency personnel and the evenhanded application of
provides a means of
independent evaluation of agency operations.
minimizes an agency’s
exposure to liability, builds a stronger defense against lawsuits, and has the potential to reduce liability insurance
enhances the reputation of
the agency and increases the public’s confidence in it.
Mooers added, “Police Certification and
Accreditation serve to reassure the general public that the law
enforcement profession is trained, prepared and ready to handle
routine calls for service including large scale emergencies.
Agency preparedness begins with having a current written
directive system that incorporates best business practices into
agency policies and operational plans.