ARLINGTON — Chief Julie Flaherty is pleased to announce that the Arlington Police Department has been fully re-accredited by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC).
The MPAC awarded full accreditation status to the department once again on March 31. The usual in-person accreditation ceremony has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Earning accreditation requires an extensive evaluation process and this achievement demonstrates our commitment to the established best practices and to providing high-quality, professional service to our community,” Chief Flaherty said. “I would like to commend our accreditation manager, Captain Richard Flynn, for his diligence and leadership throughout this process. We are honored to have earned this designation once again.”
This is the third time the Arlington Police Department has earned accreditation status. The department was first accredited in 2014 and was fully re-accredited in 2017. The department had also previously received MPAC Certification in 2008.
Accreditation is a self-initiated, lengthy and comprehensive evaluation process. Participating departments complete an internal self-review and an external assessment by MPAC experts. The process is a voluntary evaluation by which police departments strive to meet and maintain the top standards of law enforcement. It is considered the best measure for a police department to compare itself against the established best practices around the country and region.
The department was assessed in October 2020 by a team of commission-appointed assessors. The Assessment Team found the department to be in compliance with all applicable standards for re-accreditation.
The Massachusetts Police Accreditation Program consists of 257 mandatory standards as well as 125 optional standards. In order to achieve accreditation status, the department was required to meet all applicable mandatory standards as well as 60% of the optional standards.
These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations and technical support activities. They cover areas such as 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, Training, Traffic, Drug Enforcement and Victim/Witness Assistance.
Accreditation must be renewed every three years and, following this year’s renewal, the Arlington Police Department will be up for re-accreditation again in September 2023.
The Commission offers two program awards: certification and accreditation, with the latter being the higher of the two.