HOPKINTON — A three-year effort to gain accreditation has come to fruition for the local police department.
Hopkinton Police Sgt. Ryan Percival, who helped to shepherd the department through the process, was recognized at a meeting of the Hopkinton Town Council last month after the department won accreditation from the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission.
“Sgt. Percival spearheaded the review, development and compliance of 204 applicable RIPAC accreditation standards,” Police Chief David Palmer said in an email. “These standards are designed to improve and evaluate overall performance, guide policies for the future and ensure standard compliance. It was a coordinated effort of all Hopkinton officers, but the accreditation manager bears the lion share of the work.”
Christine Crocker, the commission’s executive director, has said that accreditation is the first step to assuring that police maintain up-to-date standards and policies in response to community needs.
The accreditation system in Rhode Island was developed in 2012 as an alternative to the more expensive services of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., an independent authority based in Virginia.
The state commission uses many of the standards set forth by CALEA. The assessment in Hopkinton included a review of 204 policing standards, part of a three-year evaluation that the local police was designed to be “inherently in depth” in order to create and maintin effective protocols.
Palmer said last week that Percival and other officers assisted in making important changes in the department’s facilities, including structural changes to the evidence room, the detectives’ office, armory, juvenile holding room, and cellblock. The changes included policy adjustments and added safety and security measures to protect officers and persons in custody, Palmer said.
To retain its accreditation, the department will continually re-evaluate its policies and procedures. “We constantly need to be prepared to adapt to meet the changing needs in the community,” Palmer said.