Jennifer Tabakin, Town Manager
334 Main St.
Great Barrington, MA 01230
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016
Contact: Chief William Walsh Jr.
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Great Barrington Police Department to be Awarded Accreditation Status
First Department in Berkshire County to Obtain Accreditation
GREAT BARRINGTON — Chief William Walsh is pleased to announce that the Great Barrington Police Department has met all necessary requirements for full State Accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) and will be the first department in Berkshire County to receive the award.
The department will receive its award at a ceremony, the date of which has not yet been determined.
“We are honored to be the first department in Berkshire County that will be recognized by the accreditation commission,” Chief Walsh said. “I commend all of the officers and staff, as it is their day-to-day professionalism and hard work that made this achievement possible. This was a department-wide commitment that has been several years in the making. The Town can be very proud of our police officers and our staff. In particular, Executive Administrative Assistant Cara Becker and Sgt. Paul Storti served on our Assessment Team and were paramount in this success. I want to thank both of them for their work on the 246 mandatory and 83 optional standards that we had to meet.”
Accreditation is a long and vigorous self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain the highest standards of law enforcement practice. It is considered the best measure of a police department against the established best practices around the country and region, and involves both an internal self-review and an external assessment by the commission’s team of experts.
Under the leadership of Chief Walsh, the Great Barrington Police Department was assessed earlier this year by a team of commission-appointed assessors. The Assessment Team found the department to be in compliance with all applicable standards for accreditation.
The MPAC program requires that departments meet all the mandatory standards and percentage of the optional requirements. These carefully selected measures include: Jurisdiction and Mutual Aid, Collection and Preservation of Evidence, Communications, Working Conditions, Crime Analysis, Community Involvement, Financial Management, Internal Affairs, Juvenile Operations, Patrol Administration, Public Information, Records, Traffic, Training, Drug Enforcement and Victim/Witness Assistance.
The commission offers two program awards: certification and accreditation, with accreditation the higher of the two. Accreditation is granted for a period of three years. Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.
Great Barrington Selectboard Chairman Sean Stanton and Vice Chairman Stephen Bannon offered congratulations to the Great Barrington Police Department on this “milestone achievement” at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Nov. 28.
“Accreditation demonstrates that our police department meets best practices and professional law enforcement standards,” Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin said. “This honor is a result of years of hard work and dedication to both the department and town.”