Warren police department earns accreditation

Voluntary process brings department inline with industry best practices; good for three years

By Ted Hayes
Posted 1/9/20

It took nearly two years of self-study, work and introspection, but on Thursday the Warren Police Department became the 30th law enforcement agency in the state to become accredited.

Accreditation …

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Warren police department earns accreditation

Voluntary process brings department inline with industry best practices; good for three years

Posted

It took nearly two years of self-study, work and introspection, but on Thursday the Warren Police Department became the 30th law enforcement agency in the state to become accredited.

Accreditation is a voluntary process that ensures departments are following industry best practices and have clear policies that dictate everything from record-keeping to how officers interact with the public. The accreditation, which is good for three years, was approved last month by the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission (RIPAC). Department members held a small ceremony at headquarters Thursday afternoon to announce the approval. On hand were several dozen police officers, heads of the town's planning and public works departments, the president of the Warren Town Council and other guests.

“It’s a lot of work and they should be very proud, because it’s not a rubber stamp,” RIPAC’s executive director, Christine Crocker, said prior to the ceremony. “They already had a lot of the policies (RIPAC requires) in place; this updates them to follow industry best practices.”

Warren’s accrediting process was led by Deputy Chief Roy Borges, who was assisted by Lt. Edward Borges and many other department members. The process took nearly two years of work, with nearly every member of the department taking part as policies were dissected and scrutinized and in some cases, modified to align with RIPAC standards.

Apart from conversations and policy reviews, two accreditors visited the department in late October to review procedures. They spoke to officers, toured the station, evidence room, lockers and other areas, and afterwards filed a lengthy report with Ms. Crocker. Following her review of the report, she recommended to the full commission that accreditation be approved.

“I think it’s good,” said Deputy Chief Borges of the result. “All our policies were redone and updated; there was a lot of retraining for our officers.”

“It’s going to better us, the department and the community to know we are doing everything we should be doing.”

Earning accreditation was one of Chief Peter Achilli's goals during his 10-year tenure with the department. He said Thursday that he is happy that the department saw it through, though it was not always easy:

"I'd like to take more credit for this than I should but I'm not going to do that," he said. "It was a difficult thing to accomplish and that's not to my credit but to the credit of my staff, my personnal, mainly Deputy Chief Roy Borges. Id like to thank (him) for his efforts in this accomplishemnt."

While the accreditation is good for three years, the police department must continually keep RIPAC guidelines in mind and will be open for more review as the time for re-accreditation approaches. But Ms. Crocker said she believes the effort is worth it:

“I don’t understand why any municipality wouldn’t want their police department to seek and become accredited. No one entity in any community has more liability than your law enforcement agency, and they are the gate keepers for the community.”

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.