Marquette police accreditation a step in right direction

The city of Marquette has achieved another first.

The Marquette Police Department is the first in the Upper Peninsula to seek a performance accreditation.

The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police developed the voluntary law enforcement accreditation program for Michigan agencies, which in turn brought about the creation of the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.

Through the program, organizations who want to be accredited are required to adhere to more than 100 standards of practice, which address what they should be doing to provide the public the best public safety it deserves.

Participating agencies analyzes themselves to discover how operations can meet professional objectives.

Officials from downstate came to the MPD this week to conduct the onsite portion of the assessment. The MPD, of course, has been working toward the accreditation goal, with Lieutenants Ryan Grim and Mark Wuori taking the lead as process managers.

The two worked with department personnel at all levels to develop revised policies for accreditation and compliance.

The accreditation program is fairly new. In fact, Marquette City Police Chief Blake Rieboldt indicated just 12 other agencies in the state have obtained accreditation. The first law enforcement agency accreditation under MLEAC came about in 2017.

In a Dec. 16 Mining Journal article, Rieboldt pointed out that accreditation results in greater accountability within the agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, stronger defense against civil lawsuits, increased community advocacy, and more confidence in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and respond to community needs.

If MPD becomes accredited, the designation will be valid for three years, with the agency having to submit annual reports attesting to its continued compliance with the proper standards.

Accreditation means a person or institution officially has gained credit or recognition for achieving an general standard of quality. Hospitals are accredited, for example, as are institutions of higher learning, which often receive credentials with accreditation.

In a way, it’s a seal of approval. That doesn’t mean procedures have to stay how they are in perpetuity, or institutions don’t have to continually seek improvement. Accreditation means they have achieved a certain standard and, it is hoped, will continue to maintain that standard.

It’s a good thing the Marquette Police Department seeks that status.