Ferguson Township Police Department achieves official accreditation

Date: July 31, 2017

The Ferguson Township Police Department (FTPD) has achieved official accreditation by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.

"To All Who See This," the certificate reads, "Know That The Ferguson Township Police Department, having fulfilled the necessary qualifications and mandatory requirements of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association by voluntarily complying with the provisions of a professional law enforcement accreditation program by means of achieving and demonstrating the highest acknowledged standards as required by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission is hereby recommended and approved and authorized to receive this Certificate of Law Enforcement Accreditation."

The pronouncement was effective May 24, 2017, and remains in effect for a term of three years.

Accreditation demonstrates to the community, Township management and Police Department staff that an independent body has reviewed the department’s essential policies and practices and found they comply with currently recommended best practice standards.

Accreditation by the PLEAC requires a police department to adopt more than 100 policies that meet or exceed the Standards set by PLEAC. The most critical policy areas affected are the use of force, limits of authority, prisoner transportation, prisoner detention, and handling of evidence, along with a host of best practices for operating a municipal law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania.

Under the leadership of former (now retired) Chief of Police Diane Conrad, the FTPD had successfully written and adopted all of the policies necessary to meet accreditation standards. As of February 2017, the Department’s Accreditation Team had been able to gather and organize approximately 120 of the required 500-plus documents to prove compliance. Funding from a state grant initiative, passed through the county, provided the additional processing time and the assistance of a consultant necessary to complete the remaining tasks required for assessment. 

Ferguson Township is the third municipal police department in Centre County to become accredited through PLEAC.  Currently about one-tenth of police agencies in the state have achieved this status.

Re-accreditation occurs on a three-year schedule. Two proofs of compliance for each standard are required each year.