anWHAT IS UCOPA ACCREDITATION?
Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping law enforcement agencies calculate and improve their overall performances. The foundation of accreditation lies in the adoption of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Participating agencies conduct a thorough self-analysis to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of trained assessors verifies that applicable standards have been successfully implemented. UCOPA is the acronym for the “Utah Chiefs of Police Association” who developed a comprehensive “Accreditation Program” for police agencies in Utah to apply for and achieve “Accreditation” status. The accreditation process usually takes three years to complete, and it is no small task!
Accreditation status represents a significant professional achievement. Accreditation acknowledges the implementation of policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective. There are 176 standards that must be met to become accredited. Agencies must have best practices and current legally sound policies and procedures, and they must provide proof of compliance of these policies.
BENEFITS TO CENTERVILLE CITY
These standards are designed to:
- Increase agency effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of law enforcement services.
- Increase cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.
- Increase employee and citizen confidence in the goals, objectives, policies and practices of the accredited agencies.
- Reduce liability to the municipality by requiring an up-to-date policy manual reflecting the best professional practices in law enforcement.
- Hold the agency accountable by regular onsite inspections and review.
The Centerville City Police Department must comply with the Commission’s 176 law enforcement standards in order to achieve accreditation. Accreditation is a voluntary process facilitated by UCOPA and is a highly valued mark of professional excellence, Centerville Police Department is one of only a small handful of agencies to achieve UCOPA accreditation in Utah. Centerville City Police Chief Paul Child believes that UCOPA accreditation helps to ensure that the Police Department meets the highest standards in law enforcement and promotes transparency and accountability of the agency he leads. UCOPA accreditation provides independent review and verification of the professionalism of the Police Department.
Benefits to Citizens
Accreditation demonstrates the commitment of the agency to professionalism in the law enforcement field.
- Accreditation assures the community that its law enforcement agency is committed to the provision of services of the highest quality, and that its policies and procedures are effective, responsive, and up to date.
- Accreditation commits the agency to a broad range of programs of direct benefit to the public (e.g., community crime prevention) as well as policies and procedures to cope with man-made or natural disasters.
- Accreditation promotes community cooperation and understanding.
THE UCOPA REVIEW PROCESS
Centerville Police Department received its initial accreditation in March of 2022. In January of 2023 Centerville Police submitted the required reporting, complied with new standards, and renewed the accreditation. The UCOPA Accreditation for Centerville Police Department will expire in March of 2027, at which time assessors will need to evaluate our policies, procedures, and proofs of compliance to become accredited for another 5 years, during the interim years the department will need to submitted yearly reports and show proof of compliance with new standards.