In July of 2012, the Upper Southampton Township Police Department became accredited by the PA Law Enforcement Accreditation Program of the PA Chiefs of Police Association. Accreditation assures that the department has policies and procedures which adhere to the current best accepted practices and provides for improved methods of police services for the department, municipality and community. The Department completed its on-site assessment by assessors of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC) on June 4 and 5, 2012. The unanimous recommendation of certified assessors was approved by PLEAC and on July 11, 2012 and accreditation status was granted to the Upper Southampton Township Police at the PA Chiefs of Police Conference annual banquet in Harrisburg, PA. Every three years accredited agencies are re-accessed to confirm they are following the best accepted practices. Our agency was again re-accredited in 2015, 2018 and 2021.
The accreditation concept and practice is not new. For many years, hospitals, universities and other professional fields have undergone accreditation to prove compliance with a set of professional standards. The concept of accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping organizations evaluate and improve their overall performance.
Accreditation requires the agency to meet 138 proven standards that address four areas which are Organization and Management Roles, Law Enforcement Functions, Staff Support Responsibilities and PA Legal Mandates. It is an ongoing process whereby the agency is required to establish policy and procedures against established criteria and have compliance with that criteria verified by three independent assessors during a mock and on site assessment. The assessors review training, services, equipment, policies and participate in ride alongs to verify compliance with the acceptable best practices as set forth by PLEAC. Accreditation affects every component of the agency and assures the community is receiving professional police services.
The PLEAC recognition is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence and competence in the law enforcement profession. The Upper Southampton Township community can take pride in their department knowing it represents the very best in PA law enforcement.
PLEAC was established in July 2001 and the Upper Southampton Township Police Department became the 80th PLEAC accredited agency out of over 1200 police departments in Pennsylvania. Only 6% of police departments in PA are accredited and we are one of only ten in Bucks County.
Some benefits of accreditation for our agency:
- Established a credible framework for evaluating agency practices and procedures.
- Reduces agency risk and exposure to lawsuits.
- Decreases some liability insurance expenditures.
- Improves law enforcement-community relations.
- Increases employee input, interaction and confidence in the agency.
- Enlarges the outlook and viewpoints of managers, officers and employees.
- Identifies and highlights the capabilities and competence of the agency.
- Furnishes a solid foundation for the agency to build upon for further progress.
- Provides reliable methods to improve essential management procedures.
- Extends agency accountability to the public and elected officials.
- Enhances planning and innovation activities by all agency personnel.
- Develops improved methods for providing services to the community.
- Encourages problem-solving activities within the agency.