The Union Township Police Department received national recognition recently after achieving its sixth straight accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
The department is being held up as a flagship agency of the CELEA alongside fellow Clermont County department Miami Township.
The two departments were recognized at the July 31 CELEA conference in Las Vegas.
CELEA accreditation involves a meticulous review of police department records and policies. The process includes public hearings and onsite evaluations by the CELEA staff. Careful attention is paid to not only the policies in place but the department's adherence to those policies.
"CELEA assessors reported that our agency has shown its commitment to continuing quality of service to its constituents as well as accountability to its community employees," Gaviglia said.
Union Township achieved the three-year accreditation without a single fault this year.
"We're extremely pleased that there were no errors or omissions found," UT Police Chief Terry Zinser said.
In addition to the accreditation of the police department, the Union Township Police Department also received accreditation for its communications department. This is the first year the communications center has submitted to the accreditation process and it also achieved a perfect score. Union Township is only the second department in the state to receive accreditation for its communications department.
"We just finished updating our procedures and upgrading our software," Zinser said.
Union Township Trustee Tim Donnellon said the accreditation was one expenditure originally consider for cuts during budget discussion last year. He said the process was not cut because of its importance as a tool for evaluating the departments in the township.
"I'm proud of the fact that the board of trustees specifically removed discussion of pulling those because in all three cases (in the police department, communications department, and fire department) the standards that those organizations put down for us is the way we measure the performance of those departments," Donnellon said. "I don't have any experience in fire service of police work. When the national accreditation organizations put out a set of standards we then have a set of guidelines to say this is what we expect."
All three trustees were extremely pleased with the accreditation announcement and congratulated the departments for its efforts.
"I commend the police department, communications department, and not to leave short the fire department for their steadfastness in sticking to the standards the board of trustees have set and I appreciate the diligence in being able to come to a national event like that and be recognized as having zero outstanding liabilities," Donnellon said.
Zinser said the process plays a vital role in keeping the department's policies and procedures up to date. He said the accreditation team of Lt. Sue Madsen and Sgt. Mike Mills worked hard to ensure Union Township's compliance, but it the accreditation was achieved through a department wide effort and the support of the township trustees.