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Law Enforcement Accreditation

Accredidation Logo

The Silver Spring Township Police are proud to say we are a Pennsylvania accredited law enforcement agency. Accreditation was awarded to us in July 2012.

Accreditation is a word that we hear often during our lives. We attend or send
our children, or grandchildren to colleges and universities that are “accredited.”
When we go to a hospital or emergency room we see certificates of “accreditation”
hanging on the wall. Yet many of us do not know exactly what that means to us as
users of the particular service.

Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate
and improve their overall performance. The cornerstone of this strategy lies in the
promulgation of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives.
Participating administrators then conduct a thorough analysis to determine
how existing operations can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the
procedures are in place, a team of independent professionals is assigned to verify
that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented. The process
culminates with a decision by an authoritative body that the institution is worthy of
accreditation.

In the case of police departments in Pennsylvania, there is one Pennsylvania
specific program for law enforcement accreditation. That program is managed by
the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and partially funded by the Pennsylvania
Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

The Pennsylvania program currently has 131 professional standards that must be
met in order to become an accredited police department. To meet these standards,
a department must first have policy in place that addresses all 131 standards
and 100 sub-sections of these standards. After these policies are in place, the department must then prove it complies with and follows its policies. This is
achieved through proofs of compliance such as sample reports, photos, videos,
observation and interviews, to name a few. These proofs of compliance must
cover the previous 12-month period. When the department has built the required
files and feels it is in compliance with all standards, it requests an assessment
of the department. The assessment is done during a two-day period by three law enforcement professionals from across the state. The assessment team then
provides a written report to the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation
Commission that will, with a positive report, award accreditation to the police
department.

The remaining question by our residents is: Why does the Board of Supervisors
feel so strong about accreditation? We go to the colleges and universities because
we know that they have accepted and follow the standards of their profession. We
go to accredited hospitals and emergency rooms for the same reason. The Board
believes that you as a resident deserve nothing less from you police department…
A police department that has accepted and follows the most modern professional
police practices.