The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association introduced the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program to the Commonwealth in July 2001.
Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate and improve their overall performance. There is a collection of approximately 135 standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Participating departments then conduct a thorough analysis to determine how existing operations and associated procedures can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of independent law enforcement professionals are assigned to verify that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented. The process culminates with a decision by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission that the institution is worthy of accreditation for a three-year period with annual reports required.
The Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is affordable, specific to law enforcement within Pennsylvania and sets the foundation for institutions to improve overall performance.
Once your agency has become successfully accredited through the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, share this exciting news with your community members and stakeholders. Let them know that your agency is proud to have attained this distinguished status!
Accreditation increases the law enforcement agency’s ability to prevent and control crime through more effective and efficient delivery of law enforcement services to the community it serves.
If communicated properly, accreditation should enhance the community’s understanding of the law enforcement agency and its role in the community as well as its goals and objectives. Citizen confidence in the agency’s policies and procedures should be increased.
Accreditation creates a forum in which police and citizens work together to control and prevent crime. This partnership will help citizens to understand the challenges that confront law enforcement. Law enforcement will, in turn, receive clear direction from the community about its expectations. Thus, a common set of goals and objectives will be arrived at and implemented.
Accreditation increases cooperation and coordination with other law enforcement agencies and other branches of the criminal justice system.
The accreditation process requires an in-depth review of every aspect of the agency’s organization, management, operations, and administration to include:
Ultimately, accreditation ensures that law enforcement “best practices” are being implemented and followed by the agency.
Accreditation requires that agency policies and procedures are in written form and are available to all agency personnel at all times. Accreditation assures employees that the agency is compelled to operate within specific guidelines. The agency must stay in compliance with the standards set forth by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission in order to retain its accreditation.
The morale of the agency is enhanced by increasing the employees’ confidence in the effectiveness and efficiency of their own agency. Operations become more streamlined and consistent. Accreditation standards address officer safety issues and provide for adequate training and equipment of the officers.
Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. Employees will take pride in their agency, knowing that it represents the very best in law enforcement.