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Public's review of police scheduled for Monday

December 10, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Anyone may speak about the level of service provided by the Hagerstown Police Department during a Monday public information session that is part of a reaccreditation process with a national commission.

The department will undergo a reaccreditation process, being administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., from Saturday to Wednesday, said Capt. John "Jack" Moulton. Moulton said the department was first accredited in 1994, and is now on a three-year cycle for the process.

He said the department is assessed on more than 400 standards by three assessors, who are law enforcement officers from other states.

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"Basically, it's a benchmark of professional service. It's the same concept that institutes of higher education and hospitals go for," Moulton said. "It ensures a level of performance and service that is consistent with national standards."

According to a Thursday news release from the City of Hagerstown, the commission will focus on compliance in four basic areas - policy and procedure, administration, operations and support services.

Though people can make comments via telephone or written letters, the official public information session will be at 7 p.m., inside City Hall, 1 E. Franklin St. Comments are limited to 10 minutes.

"Anybody can show up and say anything, but we're confident enough in our abilities and performance that we don't get overly concerned over what people might say," Moulton said.

Moulton said the majority of the feedback at previous public information sessions has been positive, though there have been a few people with negative views.

"It's good because it allows them (assessors) to hear directly from the public on anything they would like to say regarding our performance," Moulton said.

Anyone wishing to make comments about the department by telephone may do so by calling 301-790-3700, ext. 259, Tuesday between 2 and 4 p.m. Anyone wishing to submit written comments may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 10306 Easton Place, Suite 320 Fairfax, Va., 22030-2201.

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