NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — The Narragansett Police Department has been recognized for successfully completing the process of re-accreditation.
The Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission presented the department with a re-accreditation award at the Sept. 3 Town Council meeting.
RIPAC Executive Director Christine Crocker was joined by Narragansett Police Detective Brent Kuzman, who oversaw the process, for the presentation. Several Narragansett police officers stood nearby and Police Chief Sean Corrigan, serving as acting town manager for his final regular council meeting, watched from a table near the council. Corrigan, who accepted the award, managed the initial accreditation for the department.
“It’s an honor to recognize the Narragansett Police Department for a second time for showing that they truly are a professional and forward-thinking police department,” Crocker said.
To be awarded accreditation is the formal recognition that an agency has met specific requirements and prescribed industry best practices. Accreditation gives police departments an in-depth review of policies and procedures, and every aspect of the agency’s organization, management and operations.
Crocker said police department accreditation is similar to accreditation of hospitals, colleges and other such institutions.
“I don’t think any of us would have surgery in a hospital that’s not accredited,” she said. “Or we’re not going to spend $50,000 a year to send our children to a college or university that’s not accredited.”
Crocker called the police “gatekeepers of our community,” and said accreditation provides the tools to ensure that police personnel have the guidelines to perform their jobs, plus needed skills and training.
“In today’s environment where law enforcement officers are facing new challenges daily, it only makes sense that they’re following industry-recognized best practices,” Crocker said. “This agency has proven that for the second time.”
Maintaining accreditation takes much time and effort on the part of departments, Crocker said, so much so that it’s harder in some ways than initially becoming accredited.
Out of 46 agencies in the program, Narragansett was the 11th in the state to attain accreditation, Crocker added.
“You should all be very proud of yourselves,” she said. “We still have agencies that have not yet attained accreditation, and the Narragansett Police Department is being recognized with re-accreditation.”
The re-accreditation is good for a term of three years, and then the department is subject to another review.
“Detective, three years comes around again very fast,” Crocker told Kuzman.
The accreditation commission is a non-profit organization comprised of law enforcement executives, members of academia, representatives from police unions, a member from the longstanding police accreditation coalition and a member of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns.
Each law enforcement agency may apply to the commission for review or accreditation. A team of professionals reviews each applying agency in depth to ensure that they have adopted the standards and that they practice them.