The Arlington Police Department takes high standards seriously. On Monday, department leaders unveiled a plaque to prove it.
Not only was the department reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies for the seventh consecutive time since 1989, but it also received the organization’s new endorsement of excellence.
To put it in perspective, only about 5 percent of police departments nationwide seek voluntary accreditation. Of those that earn it, only about 5 percent do so with excellence, said Police Chief Theron Bowman, who serves as a commissioner for the organization.
The commission grades participating departments on 486 standards. The goal is to help them become more efficient and provide better service.
“We have a huge number of people all over the agency dedicated to making sure that we not only have high standards but that we maintain them,” Bowman said after a short ceremony Monday. “Accreditation has to become part of an organization’s culture. It’s a rigorous process.”
Sgt. Amanda Moss, the department’s accreditation manager, said evaluators took note of the department’s employee social media policy, which is not yet a commission standard. They also noticed the recent changes to the Citizens on Patrol program, including making official city vehicles available to the volunteers to increase their approachability and professionalism.
“It shows we’re going above and beyond,” she said.
-Patrick M. Walker