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Also In This Issue:

New Directions for Weissman Center - Q&A with Lois Brown

Meet FP Scholar Nancy Doherty "05

Levin Discusses Women and Science at MHC

MHC Students Visit Senegal

MHC Receives Rare Book Collection from Alumna

Brad Leithauser Inducted into Iceland's Order of the Falcon

Dept of Public Safety Becomes First in State to Win Accreditation

Students Become Sailors in the Caribbean During January Term

Math Achievement-Gap Expert Busts Myths About Public Education and Standardized Tests

MHC Newsmakers

MHC Milestones


This Week at MHC

Mount Holyoke College News and Events Vista The College Street Journal Archives
March 11, 2005

Dept of Public Safety Becomes First in State to Win Accreditation

The MHC Department of Public Safety has become the first college or university campus safety department in the state to receive accreditation status from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, becoming one of only 15 agencies statewide to achieve this status.

Accreditation is a self-initiated evaluation process by which law enforcement departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations, and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, and prisoner transportation. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession within the commonwealth, but also for the delivery of police services to the community.

Achieving accreditation from the commission is the highest award given, and is a recognition that is highly regarded by the law enforcement community. Participating in the program and achieving accreditation status allow departments to demonstrate that they are among the finest in the state. The status of accreditation is granted for a period of three years. Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.

Under the leadership of director Paul Ominsky, Public Safety underwent a two-day assessment in December by a team of commission-appointed assessors. The assessment team found the department to be in compliance with all 103 mandatory standards. And although the department was required to meet 60 percent of the 121 optional standards, it was found to be in compliance with 68 percent of those standards, exceeding the required minimum. Accreditation was awarded on January 28.

"I am extremely proud of this well-deserved accomplishment by the Department of Public Safety,” Ominsky said. “This is truly a tribute to the professionalism of the men and women of this department, and to the College’s commitment to safety and security on our campus. We work closely with the community to maintain high levels of safety for all who live, work, study, and visit here.”

Going through the process initially requires intense self-scrutiny, and ultimately provides a quality assurance review of the agency. In 1999, Ominsky appointed Barbara Arrighi and Jeanne Tripp to serve as the department’s accreditation managers. The department achieved certification, a halfway point to accreditation, in June 2003. This involved meeting 151 mandatory standards. The department was also the first college or university to attain that status. The accreditation managers were aided greatly in this effort by three student administrative fellows: Sarah E. Hayes ’05, Kirkley B. Strand ’04, and Stephanie M. Liotta ’03.

Although the director’s goal for the department has been achieved, Arrighi’s and Tripp’s job is not done. Their focus will now shift to monitoring and maintaining compliance with these standards and preparing for scheduled reviews by the commission.

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