BEDFORD -- Chief Robert Bongiorno is very pleased to announce that the Bedford Police Department today earned full accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC).
The department was recognized for its achievement during an awards ceremony Wednesday at the Connors Center in Dover.
"It truly is a badge of honor to see the the hardworking men and women of the Bedford Police Department receive acknowledgement of their efforts to improve the safety and quality of life for the citizens of Bedford," Chief Bongiorno said. "Accreditation is a voluntary, difficult, and time-consuming process, but the result today is that we can proudly proclaim that our department is in line with the best of the best in 21st century law enforcement."
Accreditation is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain the highest standards of law enforcement, and is considered the best measure of a police department against the established best practices around the country and region. The process is long and vigorous. It involves both an internal self-review and an external assessment by an MPAC team of experts.
Te Bedford Police Department was previously awarded "certification" status by MPAC in 2010 and was re-certified three more times since then. Under the leadership of Chief Bongiorno, the department was assessed earlier this year by a team of commission-appointed assessors. The Assessment Team found the department to be in compliance with all applicable standards for accreditation.
To conduct the initial self-assessment and prepare for the on-site review of the 246 mandatory standards and 83 optional standards by the Commission, Chief Bongiorno appointed Lt. James Graham to serve as the department’s Accreditation Manager and Officer Marc Saucier to serve as the Assistant Accreditation Manager.
"The accreditation process requires superior organization skills and dedication. Lt. Graham and Officer Saucier worked day in and day out to ensure that this process was successful, and they are to be commended for their efforts," Chief Bongiorno said.
The MPAC program requires that departments meet all the mandatory standards and percentage of the optional requirements. These carefully selected measures include: Jurisdiction and Mutual Aid, Collection and Preservation of Evidence, Communications, Working Conditions, Crime Analysis, Community Involvement, Financial Management, Internal Affairs, Juvenile Operations, Patrol Administration, Public Information, Records, Traffic, Training, Drug Enforcement and Victim/Witness Assistance.
The commission offers two program awards: certification and accreditation, with accreditation the higher of the two. Accreditation is granted for a period of three years, after which the department must be re-assessed and re-accredited. Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.