The official designation was awarded to the department, the accreditation team and Police Chief James H. Knittel, Jr. by Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. To obtain the designation, the Plymouth Township department had to prove compliance with state-of-the-art standards in four areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations and support services.
According to the association, accreditation is a proactive commitment to improving the professionalism and overall approach of a law enforcement agency. A department voluntarily adopts policies, procedures, and standards to follow while policing a community. By using such best-in-industry standards, the outcome is a more consistent approach to policing that leads to fair treatment, a more professional department and fewer lawsuits, according to the association website.
Currently, there are 588 separate law enforcement agencies in Michigan and Plymouth Township is now one of only 53 to achieve the accreditation. As part of the three-year assessment process, every township officer and 911 dispatcher participated to ensure the department achieved the highest levels of professionalism and accountability, a spokesman noted.
“We need to get the other 90 percent of all police departments certified-all across Michigan,” Stevenson, a retired police chief, told the assembled audience and members of the board of trustees last week.
Knittel said that he could not be prouder of his officers and leadership of Assistant Police Chief Daniel Kudra.
Trustee John Stewart said this is one of the highest honors and police department can receive and congratulated Knittel, Kudra, the accreditation team and all the members of the department.