The Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission has put its stamp of approval on the Allentown Police Department for another three years.
A three man assessment team visited the department for two days in July of this year and unanimously recommended to the Commission to reaccredit the department for another three years.
The assessment team was led by Dana Leonard, Retired Captain, State College Borough Police; Brian Zimmerman, Retired Sergeant, Swatara Township Police and Jason Hendershot, Sergeant, Carnegie Mellon University Police Department.
According to the assessment team report, “It is the unreserved recommendation of the assessment team that the Allentown Police Department be granted reaccreditation by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski said, “The assessment team report confirms our belief that we have a top of the line police department.” I want to commend the department leadership and the rank and file for their continued efforts to first achieve and then to maintain accreditation since 2005.”
“Our goal,” said Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, Ph.D., “is to perform our jobs to the highest standards and professionalism. The assessment team was very complimentary, and credited APD officers they spoke to with exhibiting solid knowledge of agency policy and expectations. We set the bar high and can expect nothing less.”
The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association introduced the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in July 2001. Since then, more than 300 agencies have enrolled in the program and 96 agencies currently have attained accredited status.
According to PLEAC, accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate and improve their overall performance. The cornerstone of this strategy lies in the promulgation of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Participating administrators then conduct a thorough analysis to determine how existing operations are adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of independent professionals is assigned to verify that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented. The process culminates with a decision by an authoritative body that the institution is worthy of accreditation status.
Complex time consuming work is involved in this process, providing written documentation to proof against departmental policies and procedures. The city met all 116 of the PLEAC standards applicable to the department. Accreditation status is valid for a three year period then a department must obtain re-accreditation.
The Allentown Police Department had been accredited in 2005 and re-accredited in 2008 and 2011.