Chief Emil Fioravanti would like to announce that on May 05, 2016, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Police Department received their second state accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission. Accreditation is the highest award a Massachusetts police department can earn by the Commission.
“I want to congratulate Col. Emil Fioravanti and the men and women of the UMass Dartmouth of Public Safety for achieving this recognition of their professionalism and dedication to serving our campus community,” said Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance James Sheehan.
After appointing Officer Kristin Costa as the Department’s Accreditation Manager, the Department earned its first accreditation award in January of 2013. In doing so, it became just the 49th department in the state, and just the 8th campus police department, to receive this award from the Commission. Out of 200 police agencies statewide that are now involved with the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, 61 of the departments in the State are accredited and just 11 of those are campus police departments. This prestigious award has been awarded to the Department for another three-year period.
For this re-accreditation, the Department was assessed in November of 2015 over several days in which a team of Commission-appointed assessors carefully examined, inspected and confirmed that the Department was in compliance with set standards that reflect critical areas of police management, operations, and technical support activities. The standards, 257 of them in total, cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation and holding facilities. The accreditation program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to the agency’s community.
Accreditation is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations, and technical support activities.
“Achieving Accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is a very significant accomplishment and a recognition highly regarded by the law enforcement community,” said Donna Taylor Mooers, the Commission’s Executive Director. By achieving Re-Accreditation, it demonstrates the Department’s ongoing commitment to delivering an exemplary level of police service in the community.
The standards for accreditation impact officer and public safety, address high liability/risk management issues, and generally promote operational efficiency throughout the agency. The benefits are, therefore, many and will vary among participating departments. Generally, these changes involve policy writing, facility improvements and equipment purchases. Some of the more common benefits of accreditation include: a norm for an agency to judge its performance, a basis to correct deficiencies before they become public problems, requiring agencies to commit policies and procedures to writing, promote accountability among agency personnel and the evenhanded application of policies, provide a means of independent evaluation of agency operations, minimizes an agency’s exposure to liability, builds a stronger defense against lawsuits, and has the potential to reduce liability insurance costs and lastly, enhances the reputation of the agency and increases the public’s confidence in it.
Mooers added, “Police Certification and Accreditation serve to reassure the general public that the law enforcement profession is trained, prepared and ready to handle routine calls for service including large scale emergencies. Agency preparedness begins with having a current written directive system that incorporates best practices into agency policies and operational plans.”