On September 18,2014 the Seneca Falls Police Department received the prestigious New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) “Accreditation” standard at a ceremony in Albany, NY. The Accreditation process recognizes professionalism in law enforcement by establishing standards of performance.
Police Chief Stuart Peenstra said “I am extremely proud of the members of the Seneca Falls Police Department for working so hard to achieve this high standard. There is no doubt that going through the accreditation process has made us a better Police Department and thereby helps us in our mission”.
To provide effective police services that exceed the expectations of the citizens and visitors in our community. We are committed to the protection of life and property, and to the prevention of crime and disorder. We recognize that we are an integral part of the community and as such, we are determined to provide the highest quality of life for its members and visitors. We will establish strong community partnerships that seek proactive approaches with innovative solutions to address the safety concerns that face our community. We encourage the public to embrace the department in taking a unified policing approach toward public safety through communication, education, understanding and awareness.
Chief Peenstra also praised Sergeant Tim Snyder, who was the Department’s Accreditation Manager. Sergeant Snyder steered the Department through the process, compiling all of the required standards representing the best policies and practices in law enforcement. “The accreditation process is a great way for agencies to improve their operations by adhering to known best practices.”
The Accreditation Assessment Team that completed the Seneca Falls Police Department’s assessment stated that “The Seneca Falls Police Department has done an excellent job in its efforts to implement program standards. The Chief and the entire Department should be commended for moving so quickly towards Accreditation after being merged into a new Town Police Department only two years prior to the assessment.”
The DCJS accreditation program is designed to help Police Agencies evaluate and improve their overall performance and provide formal recognition that the organization meets or exceeds general expectations of quality in the field. Among all New York State Police Agencies, only 20 percent have successfully completed the accreditation process.
It aims to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of New York State law enforcement agencies by utilizing existing personnel, equipment and facilities; promoting increased cooperation and coordination among law-enforcement and criminal-justice agencies; ensuring appropriate training of personnel, and adopting Best Practices, policies and procedures that meet these mandatory standards. Agencies participating in the accreditation program must meet or exceed 133 standards in administration, training and operations.
Accreditation is awarded following an on-site assessment by an independent team of assessors. The DCJS committee that awards accreditation to agencies includes representatives from the New York State Chiefs’ and Sheriffs’ Association, the State Police Superintendent, New York City Police Commissioner, an official from a statewide police labor organization, an incumbent police officer, a deputy sheriff and a college criminal-justice professor. Other members represent the Association of Counties, Association of Towns, Conference of Mayors and State Senate and Assembly.
Benefits of completing the program include identifying and correcting procedural deficiencies, developing proactive management systems, reducing the likelihood of liability litigation and securing community, local and state government support.