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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Milford police aim to earn special accreditation

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— The city Police Department is angling to gain formal recognition as “one of the best of the best” local law enforcement agencies in the state, said Lt. Joseph Pietrafesa.
Pietrafesa is organizing the department’s effort to gain state Police Officer Standards and Training Council accreditation. The no-cost, voluntary accreditation is a “highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence” that shows a police department meets stringent state-set standards of excellence, according to a statement by Milford police.
Accreditation is granted in three successive tiers, and less than a dozen police departments have been granted the most prestigious “Tier Three” designation, according to state POST Council records.
POST Council accreditation assessors will begin to examine the Milford Police Department March 18 to see if it meets more than 200 standards to qualify for Tier One liability certification and Tier Two professional certification.
The POST Council should reach a decision about a month after completing the inspection.
The standards can be as simple as providing documentation that an emergency generator has been tested on a weekly basis, and as complex as following the state policies for use of force, Pietrafesa said.
“We’re looking to take care of two tiers at once,” Pietrafesa said. “And we’re confident we will receive Tier One and (Tier) Two certification.”
The ultimate goal is achieving Tier Three accreditation.
“Chief (Keith) Mello wanted to move us to become a better police department and this was one way of showing that,” Pietrafesa said.
Milford police already follow most of the standards set out in the state accreditation process, and it is simply a matter of showing that to the state assessors, Pietrafesa said.
Being granted the state accreditation will provide an added sense of pride to the department and assurance to the public that Milford police hold themselves to the highest standards of professionalism, Pietrafesa said.
James Tinley can be reached at or 401-3530.


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