Thursday, May 28, 2020

Westland police win 4th national accreditation

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The Westland Police Department received national accreditation for the fourth consecutive year last month from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
The Westland department was first accredited in 2016.
 Following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors, Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik and his Accreditation Team were reviewed by the CALEA 21-member board of commissioners which reviews all findings and determines the agency accreditation status. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual CALEA Conference hearings and banquet, where agencies are formally awarded, was cancelled this year. Agencies did, however, go before the commissioners in an online webinar format. The CALEA Commission voted to approve reaccreditation of the Westland Police Department on March 21. CALEA President Anthony Purcell and Executive Director W. Craig Hartley, Jr. will formally award the Westland Police Department with accreditation, signifying excellence in public safety and commitment to community.
“Achieving our fourth national accreditation is not just an accomplishment by our CALEA accreditation team members, it has been an ongoing organizational commitment for law enforcement excellence. This is an achievement that every employee of the Westland Police Department should be extremely proud of,” said Jedrusik
 In 1979, the commission was created through the combined efforts of four major law enforcement organizations; the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs' Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.
The purpose of the commission is to develop standards based on international best practices in public safety, and to establish and administer the accreditation process. The accreditation process is how a public safety agency voluntarily demonstrates how it meets professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery, according to a statement from the organization.
“This award of accreditation does not come easy,” said CALEA President Anthony Purcell, chief of police, University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department. “Agencies must go through a rigorous review and evaluation of their organization and then implement the necessary policy and procedure changes. The process does not stop at that point. By voluntarily choosing to seek CALEA accreditation, the agency commits to an ongoing review of adherence to CALEA standards. Each community with CALEA accredited agencies should feel confident that their public safety organization is going above and beyond and operating under the highest standards in public safety.”
“I want to commend Police Chief Jeff Jeff Jedrusik and the entire Westland Police Department on this incredible accomplishment,” commented Mayor William R. Wild.  “Certification is extremely difficult to achieve and maintaining that certification for four years is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the department.” 
City officials said the accreditation includes many benefits to the entire community, including controlled liability insurance costs.
“Accredited status makes it easier for agencies to purchase liability insurance; allows agencies to increase the limit of their insurance coverage more easily; and, in many cases, results in lower premiums,” they noted in a prepared statement.
In addition, the accreditation carries with it a stronger defense against lawsuits and citizen complaints, they said.
“Accredited agencies are better able to defend themselves against lawsuits and citizen complaints. Many agencies report a decline in legal actions against them once they become accredited,” officials said.
 In addition, the award offers greater accountability within the agency, providing the chief executive officer a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation. 
The designation has staunch support from government officials and Accreditation provides objective evidence of a commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service-delivery. The CALEA accreditation also increases community advocacy as it embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which police and citizens work together to prevent and control crime. This partnership helps citizens understand the challenges confronting law enforcement and gives law enforcement clear direction about community expectations, officials added.
The award also improves employee morale as it is a coveted designation that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. It requires written directives and training to inform employees about policies and practices; facilities and equipment to ensure employee safety; and processes to safeguard employee rights. Employees take pride in their agency, knowing it represents the very best in public safety, the statement concluded.