Last updated: October 31. 2013 11:37PM - 1255 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

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HANOVER TWP. — The Hanover Township Police Department is the third law enforcement agency in Luzerne County and the 89th statewide to be honored with the distinguished accreditation award by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.

With the accreditation status awarded Thursday, the township was recognized for practices, procedures, community relations and other criteria. It also recognizes the department’s low risk to lawsuits and provides the possibility of lower liability insurance expenditures.

A 20-member panel of the association’s Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission awarded the township with the accreditation certificate after three years of preparation.

“To be successful in the accreditation process, there are 132 standards that recognized best practices in law enforcement,” Police Chief Al Walker said. “The first step is to adopt those standards and then show compliance with their assessment team.”

An assessment team evaluated the township police department and its operations in July, Walker said.

“A three-member panel came in at the end of July and assessed our practices, our facility and paperwork and, for all that preparation, we complied with the 132 standards,” Walker said.

Dallas Township and Swoyersville police departments are the other two law enforcement agencies in the county with accreditation status. There are 89 law enforcement agencies in the state with accreditation.

“With accreditation, you are providing the most efficient and most professional service that you can to the residents and tax payers,” Walker said.

Walker said former police Chief Bill Howatt began the application process nearly five years ago.

“I’m very proud of the police department; they worked really hard for this,” said Township Manager John Sipper.

“It’s a great honor for our police department. To be one of three in the area, I really believe that says a lot for our police department, our chief and his leadership,” he said.

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