Claremore PD granted accreditation award for 9th straight year
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
In June, the Claremore Police Department underwent a state accreditation process given by the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, Oklahoma Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation and Professional Standards Program. On July 18, CPD received notification that they would be granted the coveted award of accreditation for the ninth consecutive year.
Although the department was initially awarded accredited status in 2004, agencies maintain status by submitting to an independent on-site review every three years, said Captain Danny Dobbins.
In 1996, the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police received a grant to implement a law enforcement accreditation program.
A committee including municipal, county and state law enforcement representatives, municipal assurance attorneys and law enforcement bargaining units formed to review and develop the state appropriate law enforcement accreditation standards.
The process includes an internal agency review followed by a three day on-site assessment of the department’s policies, procedures and operations.
“An unforeseen benefit that occurs in the accreditation process is that the department is reviewed and assessed by an unbiased party on 169 standards of law enforcement,” said Dobbins. “These accreditations show community residents that we are doing what our policies state we need to be doing. If (officers and staff) are operating on the same page, we can provide a better service, and people want to see that we’re a professional organization.”
He said the accreditation shows that the department is held at a higher standard and that personel work hard to uphold that standard of excellence.
CPD is one of only 12 law enforcement agencies in the state to be accredited for this type of program.
“Fortunately we’ve had the resources to participate in this process. Part of (Capt. Dobbins) ongoing duties is to manage and make sure we stay compliant with the standards,” said Police Chief Stan Brown.
The “high liability issues” reviewed by the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission include use of force, emergency vehicle operation, search and seizure, care and custody of prisoners, domestic violence, evidence and property control, high risk warrant service, and others.
Dobbins is currently a Chair for the commission, which is within the Association of Chiefs of Police. He said members meet quarterly to see if any changes in policies need to be made and the process of accreditation to make sure the best services are provided to agencies.
“If we want to implement a new policy or there’s a law change, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, I can send an email to the commission looking for a policy. Within minutes, I’ll have five or six policies to view and I can pick and choose which one best suits our agency and still be standardized.”
When CPD officials received their renewal of accreditation award from the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, Dobbins received a seperate award, recognizing his leadership to the accreditation commission and to the Claremore Police Department.
“I’m proud to accept this award and commend Dobbins and the entire staff for their dedication to professionalism and accountability,” said Brown.
The official accreditation credentials will be formally presented Monday at the Claremore City Council meeting.