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Chief Michael P. Murphy
150 Park Street
North Reading, MA 01864
(978) 664-3131
(978) 664-3170 fax

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Accreditation

 Accreditation Unit                                            

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This Unit reviews the practices of the North Reading Police
Department to make sure they are in compliace with the standards set forth by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.

The law enforcement accreditation system establishes a uniform set of "Best Practices" for police agencies that are consistent on a state wide scale, measurable, verified by an independent body as to compliance, and creates accountability to the community, elected policy makers, and the line officers who are performing the day to day work.

 
 Every standard is intended to make an agency more professional while at the same time improving its services to the community. 

Chief Michael Murphy- Officer in Charge
Sergeant Joseph Thibodeau- Assistant Accreditation Manager
Officer James Carcia- Assistant Accreditation Manager
 ACCREDITATION PROCESS 
 
Accreditation is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations, and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation and holding facilities. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to citizens of the commonwealth.
 
“Achieving Accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is considered a very significant accomplishment, and is a recognition that is highly regarded by the law enforcement community,” said Donna Taylor Mooers, the Commission’s Executive Director.”   
The Commission offers two program awards: Certification and Accreditation, with Accreditation being the higher of the two.  Accreditation has been granted for a period of three years.  Participation in the program is strictly voluntary. The North Reading Police Department obtained Certification in October 2010 and accreditated in January 2011.

BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION

The standards for accreditation impact officer and public safety, address high liability/risk management issues, and generally promote operational efficiency throughout the agency.  The benefits are therefore many and will vary among participating departments based on the state of the department when it enters the process.  In other words, the benefits will be better known when the department quantifies the changes that it made as a direct result of achieving accreditation.  Generally, these changes involve policy writing, facility improvements and equipment purchases. Listed below are some of the more common benefits.

Accreditation is important because:
 
 ·    Provides a norm for an agency to judge its performance. 
 ·    Provides a basis to correct deficiencies before they become public problems.
 ·    Requires agencies to commit policies and procedures to writing.
 ·    Promotes accountability among agency personnel and the evenhanded
       application of policies.
  ·    Provides a means of independent evaluation of agency operations.
  ·    Minimizes an agency’s exposure to liability, builds a stronger defense against
          lawsuits and has the potential to reduce liability insurance costs.
  ·    Enhances the reputation of the agency and increases the public’s confidence in it.