The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association introduced the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program in July 2001. Since then, over 300 agencies have enrolled and currently 117 agencies have attained accredited status, which is less than 10 % of all police departments in Pennsylvania. This program was developed by professional law enforcement executives to provide a reasonable and cost-effective plan for the professionalization of law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth.
Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate and improve their overall performance. The Accreditation process is a rigorous process, and after applicants apply an onsite Accreditation Manager will begin the process internally by performing a self-assessment of the agency. This begins as an exercise in comparison. The Accreditation Manager will compare how the current policies comply with the Program’s 135 standards which address four areas: Organization and Management Roles, Law Enforcement Functions, Staff Support Responsibilities, and Pennsylvania Legal Mandates.
The final phase of the accreditation process is the Commission assessment. Trained assessors will do an on-site review of agency files ensuring compliance with all standards. If an agency passes this final stage, they will be accredited, and this status will remain valid for three years. The goal of this process is to experience benefits that include potential insurance savings; stronger community relations; and increased employee input, interaction, confidence in the agency and serves as a quality control component.
The York City Police Department became accredited by assessors of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC) in 2014 and adheres to its strict standards each year and re-accredited in 2017. Currently, the PLEAC Accreditation is managed by a Lieutenant who oversees both Accreditation and Training. Some of the benefits of accreditation for our police agency:
•Establishes a credible framework for evaluating agency practices and procedures
•Reduces agency risk and exposure to lawsuits
•Decreases liability insurance expenditures
•Increases employee input, interaction and confidence in the agency
•Enlarges the outlook and viewpoints of managers, officers and employees
•Identifies and highlights the capabilities and competence of the agency
•Furnishes a solid foundation for the agency to build upon for further progress
•Provides reliable methods to improve essential management procedures
•Extends agency accountability to the public and elected officials
•Enhances planning and innovative activities by all agency personnel
•Develops improved methods for providing services to the community
•Encourages problem-solving activities within the agency