TAUNTON — Mayor Shaunna O’Connell and Chief Edward J. Walsh are pleased to announce that the Taunton Police Department has begun the process of working toward State Certification and Accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC).
“I am pleased to share that the Taunton Police Department will undergo the certification and accreditation process to ensure that the department is aligned with the state’s highest standards of policing practices,” Mayor O’Connell said. “We know our police department already has high standards of their own and is progressive in many areas, but part of continuing progress is always striving to be better and going through this voluntary evaluation process will augment their efforts.”
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 adhering to established best practices around the country and region.
The certification process is long and rigorous. It involves both an internal self-review and an external assessment by MPAC’s team of subject matter experts.
After receiving certification from MPAC, the department can then work toward full state accreditation.
The Taunton Police Department is currently in the Self-Assessment Phase of the certification process, during which the department is internally evaluating its policies and procedures in order to make any necessary changes to meet the criteria for certification. An onsite assessment for MPAC certification will be scheduled following the Self-Assessment Phase.
“Beginning the certification process has been made a top priority of the department as we aim to continue to hold ourselves to the best practices of policing,” Chief Walsh said. “Becoming certified through MPAC will not only allow us to ensure that all of our existing policies and procedures meet MPAC’s rigorous guidelines, but will also recognize the exemplary work of our officers. Once we achieve certification status we will then look to further our commitment by pursuing accreditation.”
Accreditation Manager Lt. Eric Nichols will be in charge of the certification and accreditation process and ensuring that the department meets the necessary criteria. The MPAC program requires that departments meet 159 mandatory standards to attain certification.
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.
Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.
Anyone interested in learning more about this program is invited to contact Lt. Nichols. More information about the program can also be found on the MPAC website.