Accreditation is a progressive and contemporary way of helping police agencies evaluate and improve their overall performance. It provides formal recognition that an organization meets or exceeds general expectations of quality in the field. Accreditation acknowledges the implementation of policies that are conceptually sound and operationally effective.
The New York State program became operational in 1989 and encompasses four principle goals:
- To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement agencies utilizing existing personnel, equipment and facilities to the extent possible;
- To promote increased cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies and other agencies of the criminal justice services;
- To ensure the appropriate training of law enforcement personnel; and
- To promote public confidence in law enforcement agencies.
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. Standards in the Administrative section have provisions for such topics as agency organization, fiscal management, personnel practices, and records management. Training standards encompass basic and in-service instruction, as well as training for supervisors and specialized or technical assignments. Operations standards deal with such critical and litigious topics as high-speed pursuits, roadblocks, patrol, and unusual occurrences.
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