LOWELL — Police Superintendent Raymond Kelly Richardson is pleased to announce that the Lowell Police Department is preparing to achieve State Certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC).
The Lowell Police Department is currently in the self-assessment phase of the certification process, during which the organization is evaluating internally and making changes to obtain certification. The onsite assessment for MPAC Certification is scheduled for Sept. 22 and Sept. 23.
The effort to achieve certification has been a multi-year process for the department, and has been a top priority for Superintendent Richardson.
Certification is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain the highest standards of law enforcement, and is considered the best measure of a police department against the established best practices around the country and region.
“Becoming certified through MPAC has been a goal of the Lowell Police Department for many years,” Superintendent Richardson said. “The hard work and commitment of our officers has been instrumental in our work towards this goal, and we have focused on reviewing policies and training in areas such as firearms and weapons, property management, pursuits, and use of force.”
The certification process is long and rigorous. It involves both an internal self-review and an external assessment by the Commission’s team of subject matter experts.
As accreditation manager, Sgt. Jon Noone has reviewed 115 of the department’s existing policies so far in an effort to ensure the Lowell Police Department is in compliance with MPAC’s rigorous standards. The Department has drawn on the expertise of its own members, as well as police departments nationwide to align itself with best practices in law enforcement.
The MPAC program requires that departments meet 159 mandatory standards to attain certification, which is the first step toward earning accreditation.
These carefully selected standards include maintaining up to date policies around 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 Lowell Police Department completed a mock certification evaluation last month, and will undergo a full evaluation on-site in late September with MPAC.
Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.