In 2019, The Longmeadow Police Department became the first Accredited municipal Police Department in Hampden County.
The Massachusetts Police Accreditation Program offers an accreditation process for police agencies across the Commonwealth. Like other accreditation programs, the process consists of two major components: (1) the establishment of a body of professional standards for police agencies to meet, and (2) a voluntary assessment process by which agencies can be publicly recognized for meeting those standards considered best practices for the profession.
Standards generally dictate which topical areas an agency must have policies and procedures on leaving the development and enforcement of agency-specific policies and procedures up to the agency’s Chief and supervisory staff. The vast majority of the Commission’s standards require agencies to commit their often unwritten policies and procedures to writing. The remaining standards are equipment or facility related generally found in communication centers, holding facilities and property/evidence rooms.
In order to be an accredited police agency, a police department must meet certain standards established by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission. These standards reflect the best professional practices in each area of police management, administration, operations and support services. The Longmeadow Police Department must prove compliance with 257 mandatory standards and a minimum of 69 optional standards to be eligible for accreditation. In order to maintain Accreditation, every three years the Longmeadow Police Department will be assessed on our facility, equipment, policies and operations to prove compliance with these standards. Assessments for awarding Accreditation are similar in purpose to line and staff inspections in that they both serve to monitor compliance with standards and provide a timely means for corrective action when necessary. The Assessment Team is typically Police Chiefs and Accreditation Managers who have been specially trained to conduct on-site assessments on behalf of the Commission.
- Provides a set of norms for an agency to judge its performance.
- Provides a basis of knowledge to correct deficiencies before they become public problems.
- Requires agencies to develop comprehensive policies and procedures.
- Promotes accountability among agency personnel.
- Provides a means for quality assurance.
- Enhances the reputation of the agency and promotes public confidence in it.
- Reduced costs on insurance liability rates for the Town.
For more information on the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, please visit the MPAC site at: https://masspoliceaccred.net/