Accreditation

MPAC Accredited Police Department

Re-Accreditation Assessment September 2017

Chief Francisco "Cisco" Ortiz is pleased to announce that a team of assessors from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, to begin examining various aspects of the department’s policies and procedures, operations and facilities. 

Verification by the Assessment Team that the Department meets the Commission’s standards is part of a voluntary process to gain state Accreditation -- a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession.

The Massachusetts Police Accreditation Program consists of 257 mandatory standards as well as 125 optional standards.  In order to achieve accreditation status, the Department must meet all applicable mandatory standards as well as 55% of the optional standards. 

Achieving Accreditation is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.  Anyone interested in learning more about this program is invited to call (Chief Cisco Ortiz or the Department’s Accreditation Manager Jeanne Tripp) or visit the Accreditation Commission website at http://www.masspoliceaccred.net/. 


The Campus Police Department for Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges is proud to be accredited by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, Inc.  Accreditation is "a self-initiated process by which police agencies voluntarily strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession" (Source: MPAC).  One of the campuses involved in our collaboration, Mount Holyoke, was the first campus police department in Massachusetts to be certified and accredited by the MPAC, in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

There are two programs in Massachusetts currently - certification and accreditation.  Certification consists of 155 standards addressing issues of high liability .  Departments who achieve this honor may continue toward accreditation.  In order to accredited, departments undergo a process of reviewing processes, policies and procedures to meet 252 mandatory standards and a minimum of 80 optional standards to be eligible for accreditation on topics such as:

  • Authority, Jurisdiction & Use of Force
  • Recruitment, Selection, and Promotion of Personnel
  • Training, Discipline, and Internal Affairs
  • Patrol, Traffic Operations, and Criminal Investigation
  • Victim/Witness Assistance
  • Emergency Response Planning
  • Records and Communications
  • Collection and Preservation of Evidence
  • Property and Evidence Control

When the department has made all changes necessary, a team of trained assessors from across the state visits and reviews the department's policies and procedures, tours the department's operational space, and interviews staff on the established processes.  Following this on-site review and completion of any adjustments deemed necessary during the assessment, the recommendations of the assessment team are forwarded to the Accreditation Commission for final review and, if appropriate, grants certification or accreditation. 


Why Accreditation?

Just like hospitals, colleges, and other organizations have accreditation programs, police accreditation assures our communities that their police department meets the standards of their field.

  • Accreditation assures the operational readiness of the Campus Police Department.
  • Accreditation assures that the department's policies and procedures and rules and regulations are in line with modern professional standards.
  • Accreditation promotes a strong emphasis on officer safety, training, and professional hiring and promotional procedures that assure professional and top-calibre service to our communities.
  • Accreditation provides an ongoing, independent evaluation of the Campus Police Department.
  • Accreditation improves the quality of individuals who apply for employment with our agency.
  • Accreditation provides each member of the department with a sense of pride, knowing that their agency has met such high, professional standards.

Our combined department was awarded accreditation status in the fall of 2014. Mount Holyoke College was first certified by the Commission in 2003 and accredited in 2004, becoming the first college or university to obtain those statuses.  During our review assessors visited our department spaces on all three campuses.  As of August 2017, only 70 police agencies statewide have been accredited, and 23 have been certified of the over 300 municipal, campus, transit and hospital agencies in the state.

For more about the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, please visit their website at http://www.masspoliceaccred.net/