“Accredited Law Enforcement Agency”
The Murrysville Police Department is a progressive law enforcement agency that strives for excellence. As a way to promote this philosophy and enhance professionalism, the department notified the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association in October 2001 and subsequently submitted an application to pursue accreditation through the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC). This action, known as Phase One, began the accreditation process. Captain Rob Liermann was assigned as the program’s Accreditation Manager.
On January 21, 2002, the police department held a public meeting and made a presentation of the accreditation program. Shortly thereafter, due to administrative changes, the program was placed on hold. In January 2003, Thomas Seefeld was appointed Chief of Police. After assessing department operations and programs, he decided to renew the focus towards working on the accreditation process.
The department entered into the Self-Assessment phase of the program. This process was very lengthy and involved countless meetings of command staff personnel in developing policies that were in conformance with the program’s 123 standards. Staff input and cooperation was necessary in order for this to be successful. All personnel became team members striving to achieve a common goal. The agency was energized, motivated, and remained inspired throughout the process. After completing the self-assessment phase, a mock-assessment was held on December 15, 2005, to help prepare the department for Phase Three, the Formal Assessment.
On February 6 & 7, 2006, the Formal Assessment was held. Three law enforcement assessors from across the state were assigned to conduct the assessment. The first day began with the assessors receiving a tour of the department and review of department equipment and technology. The assessors spent the rest of the day analyzing department policy files and proofs to see if they were in conformance with program standards. With the exception of a few minor issues, the review went extremely well.
The second day involved a Chief’s interview by an assessor concerning department progress, accomplishments, future aspirations, and overall department operations and functions. The other two assessors conducted ride-alongs with patrol officers to get a tour of the Municipality and have interaction with each officer about their knowledge of department functions and operations. The day concluded at 11:30 a.m. with an exit interview conducted by the three assessors. They expressed encouraging reviews and advised that due to the complete and orderly manner in which all pertinent information was compiled, and the fact that all files were in compliance, the process was concluding earlier than expected.
The assessors submitted their assessment report to PLEAC recommending that the Murrysville Police Department be awarded accreditation status. On March 14, 2006, PLEAC accepted the assessors’ recommendation. On March 25, 2006, the Murrysville Police Department was awarded accreditation by the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
To achieve this pinnacle in law enforcement is a distinct honor. There are 1171 municipal police agencies in Pennsylvania. The Murrysville Police Department is only the 35th agency to receive accreditation status through PLEAC.
Once the department attained the recognition of accreditation, the department needed to show that it was remaining in compliance of the standards. To show the compliance, the department continues to evaluate the department policies. This evaluation involves all members of the department. Input is sought when policies are due to be renewed.
The process of finding proofs that show compliance with the standards is an ongoing process. This involves every employee of the department as each employee is assigned the task of finding certain proofs.
Since first becoming an accredited law enforcement agency, the police department has undergone two reassessments, and subsequently has been awarded re-certification on both occasions. The last award came on January 20, 2012, and is good for a period of three years. The next reassessment will take place in 2015.