The Town of Warwick Police Department (WPD) was awarded the “Certificate of Accreditation” by the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program on Thurs., Mar. 9 in Albany, NY. In the WPDs continued commitment in providing the highest level of quality service to the community, they applied for accreditation in October 2021. Over the 14-month period, the department put forth a huge effort to achieve excellence in 110 standards established by the State. This included updates to the property room, equipment upgrades, and improvements to the inside and outside of the Police Station.
Program standards incorporate key provisions of New York State laws, codes, rules and regulations, and requirements set forth by the Municipal Police Training Council. These standards are divided into three categories – administration, training and operations, and range from the WPDs mission statement, arrest procedures and community engagement to disaster preparedness.
During a three-day process in January 2023, a team of officials from the NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program reviewed the WPDs compliance to the 110 standards through 167 interviews with police officers and civilian employees; conducted 56 independent observations of the department’s operations; reviewed hundreds of files; toured the station; and observed various work areas.
Chief John Rader acknowledges that the accreditation could not have been achieved without the support of Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton and former Police Chief Thomas McGovern at the start of the process. Chief Rader said, “The real credit goes to each member of our agency who conducts themselves in a professional manner every day and exemplifies the standards that we have to meet. Less than 30 percent of police departments in New York have achieved this status. This is a proud day for our department and the community that we serve.”
In the team’s exit interview, the WPD received some of the highest marks they have given in over 24 years of conducting assessments. Attending the exit interview was Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton who said, “The Assessment Team Leader from the State, after three days of intense review, said in his wrap up session that in all his years of evaluating agencies he could not remember once where he had no suggestions for improvement but in our case, he had none!”
“The Town Board and I congratulate, Chief Rader, and the men and women of the Warwick Police Department on becoming an accredited Law Enforcement Agency. The department worked hard to demonstrate that operationally we meet the 110 standards set by NYS,” added Supervisor Sweeton. “Being an accredited department sends a strong message to our community that the Warwick Police Department is comprised of professional law enforcement officers who will protect and serve them 24/7 365 days a year. We can be very proud of the WPD.”
For the WPD to maintain accreditation status, they will be re-assessed every five years. Chief Rader said, “I have no doubt that the members of our department will continue their commitment to professional excellence in their work and to the community.”