WILMINGTON, MA — Chief Joseph Desmond is pleased to inform the community on January 20, 2021, the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) voted to award Re-accreditation Status to the Wilmington Police Department (WPD). In August of 2020, the WPD was subject to an extensive on-site review by a team of independent assessors from MPAC. The Assessment Team found the WPD to be in compliance with all 257 mandatory standards and the required percentage of optional standards. The WPD has been re-accredited every 3 years since the initial accreditation in 2011.
The Commission offers two program awards: Certification and Accreditation, with Accreditation being the higher of the two. Currently there are 94 accredited and 13 certified police departments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Accreditation is a comprehensive, 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, community outreach, 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.
The standards for accreditation address high liability/risk management issues, and promote operational efficiency throughout the agency. Listed below are some of the more common benefits of an accredited police department:
- 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 impartial 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.
Achieving Accreditation Status demonstrates the Wilmington Police Department is committed to providing the professional police services citizens have come to know and expect.
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