On January 26, 2012, the Wareham Police Department was awarded “Accreditation” status by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) at the Andover Country Club in Andover, Ma. Accreditation is the highest award a Massachusetts police department can earn by the Commission. Officer Bill Fihlman is the Accreditation Manager for the Department.
Under the leadership of Chief Richard Stanley, the Wareham Police Department was assessed for Accreditation on Nov. 15, and 16 2011 by two certified Mass Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) assessors. The two-day assessment consisted of scrutinizing and verifying documentation for compliance with commission established standards required for Law Enforcement Accreditation.
The assessment included a tour of the building, the holding facility, communications, emergency power, vehicle inspections, training records, booking procedures, our Field Training Officer program, and numerous other vital areas that have been established by the Commission as mandatory requirements for Accreditation.
In January of 2011, our Department was awarded Certification by MPAC for complying with 159 standards. Accreditation requires police departments to meet an additional 167 standards for a total of 326 standards. The majority of those standards were met by re-writing and updating over 69 Department policies and procedures that were outdated and lacking compliance with many of today’s legal requirements.
There are multiple advantages of being an accredited department. The standards we have met focus on officer safety and public safety, accountability, as well as high liability/risk management issues and generally promote operational efficiency and responsibility throughout the agency.
There are 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. As of January 26, 2012, only 39 of those are accredited. State-wide, approximately 11% of municipal police departments are accredited. In Plymouth County where Wareham is located, there are 27 municipal police departments. Prior to our agency becoming accredited, there was only one other police department in Plymouth County that was accredited. There are now two.