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Police department gets reaccredited

March 23, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

The Hagerstown Police Department has been awarded international accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc.

The Commission announced Saturday that the department was reaccredited for the third time, according to city police.

Capt. Charlie Summers, the department's acting chief, said the achievement is a "big deal."

"I think it's important every time we try and, of course, succeed," Summers said. "It continues to show our practices and policies are meeting a standard very few departments in the country adhere to."

A team of assessors from Texas, South Carolina and Manitoba, Canada, evaluated the department on more than 400 standards in December 2004.

The city department first was accredited in 1994. It was reaccredited in 1999 and 2002.

"It's also not as simple as 'we got accredited once, so we're accredited.' We have to apply and go through the process every three years," Summers said. "It's easy to let things slip ... accreditation gives us another chance to look at ourselves."

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