RADNORE — The Radnor Police Department received special recognition this week for one of the highest honors a police agency can receive.

During Monday night’s Radnor Board of Commissioners meeting, Springfield Police Chief Joseph Daley, on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of Chiefs of Police, presented the Radnor Police Department with an official certificate from the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC).

“Accreditation speaks loud and clear that you adhere to nationally recognized standards of policing and that your police department is on the front lines,” Daly said as he presented the award to Radnor Police Superintendent Chris Flanagan.

More than 375 police departments have attempted to claim the highly sought-after recognition by signing up for the process. Only 147 agencies received accreditation status.

The accreditation program was introduced in July 2001 by the Pennsylvania Association of Chiefs of Police.

Radnor’s accreditation process took up to 18 months, Daly said, and the department must continue to meet standards.

“This is not the end, but the beginning. Now comes the hard work. For each standard, you must show proof of compliance for each accreditation cycle. It’s a lot of work. It keeps your eye on the ball, and it ensures that your community has the best police service you can give them,” Daly said.

Flanagan thanked the commissioners and said they accept the recognition on behalf of the community.

“We accept this great honor before you on behalf of our community because police departments are held to the highest standards,” Flanagan said.

John String and Maddie Lewis of Aspirant Consulting helped guide Radnor officials through the PLEAC process and served as advisors.

Flanagan also recognized now-retired Lt. Shawn Dietrich for helping the township achieve the recognition and Lt. Mark Stiansen, who will serve as accreditation manager.

Accreditation requires Radnor Police to meet more than 130 standards related to four areas: organization and management, law enforcement functions, personnel support responsibilities and Pennsylvania legal authority.

“PLEAC’s recognition is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence and competence in the law enforcement profession,” said Bill White, Township Supervisor. “And this accreditation confirms what our residents have known all along. The Radnor Township Police Department is one of the best law enforcement agencies in Delaware County.”

Accreditation also provides some advantages to the police department. Some of these benefits include reducing agency risk and exposure to lawsuits, reducing some liability insurance costs, and improving law enforcement-community relations.

Accreditation is an ongoing process in which an agency must establish policies and procedures against established criteria and meet those criteria, verified by three independent assessors during mock and on-site assessments. Evaluators review training, services, equipment, and policies and participate in “walk-throughs” to verify compliance with PLEAC’s accepted best practices. Accreditation affects every component of the agency and ensures that the community receives professional police services.

“The concept of accreditation is a time-tested way to help organizations assess and improve their overall performance,” said Flanagan. “Achieving PLEAC accreditation is a result of the commitment of the men and women of the Radnor Township Police Department to maintain a high level of professional standards in their day-to-day operations while representing Radnor.”


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