Pascagoula PD in the spotlight for re-accreditation

Pascagoula PD in the spotlight for re-accreditation

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A team from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement is in town for an operations inspection, and the Pascagoula Police Department is putting on its best face.

The accreditation commission is judging the department on 189 standards of excellence. If they pass, they'll rise to the top.

"It helps the department with liability concerns," accreditation manager Sgt. Chris Weeks explained. "It ensures that we have stand operating procedures and the best practices as it pertains to those policies."

Everything is on the table for police chief Kenny Johnson.

"Every action that we do, every use of force, every pursuit is thoroughly reviewed. Not just me, but a command staff review process," said Johnson.

Being recognized and being re-accredited on a statewide and national level means a great deal for the men and women of the department. It also means something else that might be even more important - recruitment.

"It is a big tool for us," said Capt. Doug Adams. "People know that we're going to do things right [and] the recruits know that we're going to do things right. They're going to get the best training possible."

With a top-notch police department, the chief says recruitment could come in other areas as well.

"We hope that it makes the decision for somebody to move to Pascagoula, versus moving somewhere else when they know that have a police department in place that's both state and nationally accredited," Johnson said.

For Weeks, being re-accredited would mark a major milestone for the department.

"It's pretty rare. We're one of 20 in the state that are state accredited, and even fewer than that national level," he said.

A public hearing on the accreditation process will be held Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the Pascagoula municipal courtroom, located inside the police department.

A final answer on the city's application will likely come in May of 2018.

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