What is Accreditation?
The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association introduced the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program to the Commonwealth in July 2001. Since then, over 375 agencies have enrolled and 131 agencies currently maintain accredited status.
Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate and improve their overall performance. The cornerstone of this strategy lies in the promulgation of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Participating administrators then conduct a thorough analysis to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of independent professionals is assigned to verify that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented. The process culminates with a decision by an authoritative body that the institution is worthy of accreditation.
The Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was designed and developed by professional law enforcement executives to provide a reasonable and cost effective plan for the professionalization of law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth. The underlying philosophy of the program is to have a user-friendly undertaking for the departments that will result in a “success” oriented outcome.
Worthy of Accreditation?
For the first time in Warrington Township Police Department’s history we are an accredited law enforcement agency. The Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC) made a unanimous decision to certify our department. What this means is that the Warrington Township Police Department made a commitment to excellence in Law Enforcement! This process, typically requiring multiple years of preparation, was accomplished in just 15 months. Chief Friel has said, “This has been one of my top priorities, to bring this department to the next level. This doesn’t happen without everyone’s buy in and hard work.” Our department’s teamwork and dedication is what accomplished this great achievement.
Our initial assessment was held on February 24-25, 2021. The assessors were very impressed with the entire police culture and attention to detail in the proofs of compliance during their on-site visits with us. The lead assessor told us and PLEAC that it was the best “stress free” initial assessment he has ever done.
Our next assessment will be held in three years, with us having to show proofs of compliance for each year. Our department will continue to strive for excellence so that we can best serve our great community.
-Establishes 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 innovative activities by all agency personnel
-Develops improved methods for providing services to the community
-Encourages problem-solving activities within the agency