Saline Police Applying For Accredidation

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Saline’s police department is about a third of the way done with its state accreditation process.

“There are five chapters that are in the accreditation for Michigan. Within those standards, there are several sub-standards,” Saline Police Chief Jarrod Hart said.

The accreditation creates a documented, standardized set of procedures for dealing with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, Hart explained, the accreditation requires the department to have a set of policies of how to handle that situation.

Hart is applying to modify 498 policy points to align Saline’s policing policy with the best practices of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police; an accrediting non-profit that has been helping police departments improve themselves since 2016. Like its national equivalent, the Lansing-based organization helps police departments ensure that they are policing effectively and unbiasedly, while also lowering the likelihood of litigation from a disgruntled citizen.

“If you look at a lot of the changes that a lot of politicians want to do to the American police officer,,” Rossow Neal Rossow, the Director of Professional Development at the MCAP, said, referring to police reform protest movements like Black Lives Matter. “… most of the things that they think we should be doing, like prohibiting biased policing, reporting use of force, de-escalation training … almost everything that they want police officers to address, our standards … have addressed since the standards were adopted.”

Hart is currently going over his departments policies with a fine tooth comb to make sure that the procedures that Saline Police Department follows align with the MCAP; and is collecting proofs of compliance.

Once that is done, two representatives will double check his work and visit the department to assess the culture of the department twice. They will go in once as a test run of the new policies, and then again, to fully check for compliance.

The department began the process last January and is expected to complete it within the typical two year timeframe. Rossow said there was no reason to expect anything other than a successful application when Hart submits next February. If the application is successful, the department would need to be reaccredited every three years.

“I think in the first quarter of 2022, we’ll be able to make a very strong case for accreditation. I think the police department will ultimately be accredited, which signals our local police department is one of the premier agencies, not just in the region, but in the United States,” Saline Mayor Brian Marl said.

Hart said that it is unlikely that Saline will apply for national accreditation as well, due to the cost. The cost for accrediting with the MCAP will be about $1,800, plus another $700 per year, according to a MACP manual.

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