The Town of Saugerties Police Department is an accredited law enforcement agency in New York State. Our agency meets or exceeds general expectations of quality in the field. The program has four principal goals:
(1) To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement agencies utilizing existing personnel, equipment and facilities to the extent possible;
(2) To promote increased cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies and other agencies of the criminal justice system;
(3) To ensure the appropriate training of law enforcement personnel;
(4) To promote public confidence in law enforcement.
In essence, accreditation acknowledges the implementation of policies that are conceptually sound and operationally effective. The cornerstone of the Accreditation Program lies in established standards that contain a clear statement of professional requirements. Agencies participating in the Program conduct a thorough analysis of their organization to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet established standards. When an agency adopts policies and procedures that meet the standards, a team of independent professionals conducts an on-site assessment to verify that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented. This process culminates with a decision by the NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Council that the agency is worthy of accreditation.
The Accreditation Council provides overall direction and consists of 17 members appointed by the Governor. The Council meets quarterly and issues standards, sets policy and has exclusive authority to grant accreditation status. Members include representatives from the state chiefs' and sheriffs' associations, the Superintendent of State Police, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, an official of a statewide police labor organization, an incumbent police officer, a deputy sheriff and a college professor of criminal justice. Other members represent the Association of Counties, the Association of Towns, the Conference of Mayors, the New York State Senate, and the Assembly
The New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program enables administrators to strengthen existing procedures while simultaneously creating a solid foundation for the agency's future. The benefits of accreditation include:
Independent confirmation that policies comply with professional standards
Assurance of fair recruitment, selection and promotion processes
Diminished vulnerability to civil law suits and costly settlements
Enhanced understanding by agency personnel of agency policies and procedures
Greater administrative and operational effectiveness
Greater public confidence in the agency
In the final analysis, the impact of the Accreditation Program stems from the profound commitment that New York law enforcement executives have made to professionalism and from their desire to provide the best possible services to the communities that they serve.