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Hagerstown police face reaccreditation

November 27, 2001

Hagerstown police face reaccreditation



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

A private law enforcement accreditation organization in December will examine the Hagerstown Police Department's policies and practices.

As part of the voluntary reaccreditation process, the public will have a chance to comment on police policies during a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at Hagerstown City Hall.

Police Chief Arthur Smith said the accreditation process is "an internal nuts and bolts examination of what we do."

He said the police department was first accredited three years ago by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies based in Fairfax, Va.

To be reaccredited, the department will have to be found to be in compliance with 439 standards of police practice, according to a department statement.

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Smith said the group will look at everything from how the department handles prisoners to how it handles inventory, and its use of force policy.

Smith said he expects the department will have to make some adjustments to be reaccredited.

The benefits of being an accredited police department include less expensive liability insurance, and "it's a nice recruitment tool," Smith said.

He said accreditation shows there is a level of professionalism at the department.

Anyone who wants to comment but will be unable to attend the Dec. 11 hearing can comment by telephone by calling 301-739-8577, extension 259 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Dec. 11.

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