Marion Police Department receives state accreditation

Jun 12, 2018

The Marion Police Department renewed its state accreditation on June 6 following an evaluation process.

Accreditation, which lasts for three years, is a self-initiated process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards in the areas of police management, operations, and technical support.

The process addresses policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation, and holding facilities.

Under the leadership of Marion Police Chief John Garcia, the department was assessed in January. The assessment team found the department to be in compliance with "all applicable standards" for accreditation, commission representatives said.

“Achieving Accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is a very significant accomplishment and a recognition highly regarded by the law enforcement community,” said Donna Taylor Mooers, the Commission’s executive director.

Lt. Richard Nighelli served as the department's accreditation manager, taking the reins after Garcia became chief last December. He notes: The work continues.

“Throughout the year we have to comply with all the new and amended standards that are adopted by the commission," Nighelli explained. “We jump right back into preparing for the next” accreditation.

Commission representatives note that achieving accreditation positively impacts officer and public safety, addresses high liability/risk management issues, and promotes efficiency throughout the department.

“Going through the process initially requires intense self-scrutiny, and ultimately provides a quality assurance review of the agency,” said Mooers.

And, as Nighelli noted, all members of the department have to be on board.

“There’s a lot work that goes into it," he said. “It’s really a department-wide effort.”

The Commission offers two programs -- certification and accreditation, with accreditation being the more prestigious of the two.