Important Message from Bensalem Police
Members of the Bensalem Police Department would like to reiterate to the community who WE are due to some recent misinformation that has been circulating on social media.
We are a nationally accredited police agency through CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) and one of only 14 police departments in Pennsylvania, and the only in Bucks County, to achieve this standard. Only 1,032 departments in the Unite States have achieved this level of accreditation and there are over 18,000 police agencies. We are accredited by the state as well through PLEAC (Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission) and are one of the 120 departments to receive this standard out of the 1,200 agencies in Pennsylvania. These accreditations are the gold standards of policing.
We are committed to working with our community on a variety of projects to insure inclusion and diversity. We have worked with the Bucks County NAACP for the past five years to improve our hiring process and increase our representation of our community. These efforts have paid off and allowed us to hire a more diverse workforce. In 2019, we increased our minority representation 125% when we hired five new minority officers. We are proud of our partnership with the NAACP.
We have a year-round PAL program (Police Athletic League), the only one in Bucks County, with over 1,100 kids participating. PAL includes kids from all backgrounds, schools, and is free of charge. We are committed to working with our youth and building those much-needed bonds with our younger generations. We are in our local schools teaching DARE and have done so for the past 25 years. We were the second department in Pennsylvania to start a Community Policing Initiative under President Clinton in 1992 and have remained committed to working with our community ever since. We have a Police Explorers program, have hosted a Citizen’s Police Academy, and have hosted many open houses to allow our residents to see what we do on a daily basis.
We are the best trained police department in the region. We double the state’s standards when it comes to use of force training and firearms training. We ensure our officers are annually trained on biased based policing, de-escalation, crisis intervention, and reality-based training. Proof that our efforts are working can be seen in our Use of Force applications as a department. Over the past 2.5 years, officers used forced on less that .004% of all arrests. We only resorted to force 29 times over the course of 7,223 criminal arrests and over 150,000 contacts with citizens. Thankfully, deadly force was not used over this timeframe and 79% of force applications involved a white suspect.
All our interactions with the public are captured by body cameras or in-car cameras. We are transparent and always encourage anyone to contact us if they feel they were mistreated.
Mayor DiGirolamo and the leadership of the Police Department are always eager to hear from the public and welcome respectful dialogue. As always, we are committed to the community we serve and will continue to treat all with respect, dignity, and equality.