A local police department got its accreditation

The West Point Police Department is officially an accredited law enforcement agency

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – The West Point Police Department is officially an accredited law enforcement agency. The designation became official in January.

It’s a process that’s been years in the making; accreditation is a major accomplishment for police departments. It not only helps the department but gives the community a sense of peace.

It’s been a four-year process, but worth all the effort. West Point police chief Avery Cook said becoming an accredited department is a major accomplishment that shows officers and staff are following standard procedures.

“Accreditation is a set of state standards that govern law enforcement,” Cook said.

Chief Cook said he had been trying to get the department accredited for about four years; so he hired an accreditation manager to help get the job done.

Queenie Dean helped get the department accredited in roughly one year.

“We had two accreditation accessors that came up to sign off on everything to make sure we were in compliance with the process of this accreditation,” Dean said.

There are 141 standards that have to be met to receive the status, but West Point only had to adhere to 119 due to not having a jail; each of those standards had to go through a process.

“With the description of what I needed for from our general order and all I did was go through our general orders which you have to read and check through and make sure we place it in there,” Dean said.

Accreditation accessors will come in and check on the department every couple of years to make sure they’re still complying to what needs to be upheld.

Cook said he feels that this is not only a positive for his team, but the community as well.

“It gives us more accountability and I think it builds public trust because it says that we’re operating under these standards and guidelines that have been set aside by the state. We’re held accountable just as well as we hold the community accountable to follow the law; we have to set a guideline that we’re governed by also, ”Cook said.

Cook said he’s thankful and appreciative for his department being able to meet the standards to become accredited and he plans to maintain that status throughout his tenure as chief.