ROME — Among duties police departments undertake that are often unseen by the public is an accreditation process through the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.
Police say participating in the program is another way of self-policing department practices.
"The Accreditation Program is comprised of a set of standards developed to further enhance the capabilities of an agency, and is divided into three categories," according to information from the state Office of Public Safety and Accreditation. Those standard cover things such as organization, fiscal management, personnel practices, records management and training of department staff, law enforcement officials say.
Receiving accreditation means the department is "following best practices," Rome City Police Chief Kevin Beach said. "It helps the community to know we follow best practices."
The City of Rome Police Department was officially reaccredited late last year, receiving the honor at a formal Dec. 13 ceremony in Albany.
The department was recognized for maintaining standards in areas such as training, administration and operations, Beach said. The achievement was made after the department passed an onsite inspection in September.
The agency was first accredited in 2003, Beach said.
Since then, "this is the third time we've been through it," Beach said. "It's good for five years."
The process of achieving the designation is not always easy, he added.
"The year you are up for reaccreditation is very busy," Beach said.
At his department, there is an officer tasked with keeping up with reaccreditation standards. "It's a year-round process."
Beach said there is no real cost associated with the accreditation process itself other than the man hours a police department logs pulling all documents and training together.
Other law enforcement agencies that are accredited in the region include: Gloversville City Police Department, New York State Police, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Utica City Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Contact reporter Jolene Cleaver at 315-792-4956 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Cleaver).