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Published: Saturday, 12/6/2008

Toledo Police seeks reaccreditation

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Three veteran law enforcement officials from across the country will arrive in Toledo today to examine the city's police department as a part of the process to become reaccredited.

The Toledo Police Department was first accredited in 2003 and again in 2006 - a distinction Chief Mike Navarre covets.

"It symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence," he said. "Very few departments are accredited."

The team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. includes Deputy Chief Douglas Middleton of the Henrico County Division of Police in Henrico, Va.; Maj. Timothy Fitch of the St. Louis County Police Department in St. Louis, and Sgt. James Parker of the Greenbelt Police Department in Greenbelt, Md.

The out-of-town law enforcement officials, who will be in Toledo through Wednesday, will review reports, interview police officers and employees, and visit offices and other locations to measure the department's compliance.

The department must comply with 459 standards, an increase from 446 standards in the last accreditation process.

Some of the standards include contract agreement, crime analysis, grievance procedures, training, crime prevention, and community involvement, among others.

Toledo police Sgt. Lisa Marshall said the assessors review files put together by the department that prove Toledo police adhere to the commission's standards.

She said the department already has in place a thorough policy manual, which helps aid in gaining reaccreditation.

"It was easy for us to become accredited because we have good polices implemented," Sergeant Marshall said.

And the areas in which the department was lacking have been improved because of the accreditation process, she said.

Sergeant Marshall said there is now more off-site training for civilian employees and the property room changed how it does business - moving from documenting incoming property with paper to using a barcode system.

Chief Navarre said he has a meeting with the assessors before they leave Wednesday, during which they will share their findings.

The assessors then report to the commission, which will decide if the department is granted reaccreditation.

Accreditation lasts three years, during which the department must submit annual reports attesting to its continued compliance with the standards under which it was accredited.

Contact Laren Weber at:

lweber@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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