The Weatherford Police Department - (WPD) has a lot to be proud of. On Oct.11 the WPD received the prestigious award of Recognized Law Enforcement Agency from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Law Enforcement Best Practices Recognition Program.
The TPCA Recognition Program began in 2006 and evaluates a police department’s compliance with more than 166 Best Business Practices for Texas Law Enforcement. The practices were carefully developed by Texas Law Enforcement professionals to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of services and the protection of individual’s rights. It covers all aspects of law enforcement operations such as: use of force, protection of citizen rights, vehicle pursuits, firearms, S.W.A.T., communications, records management, property and evidence management, criminal investigations and patrol operations. The Texas Police Chiefs Association recognizes and supports other accreditation programs, however the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Recognition Program has clearly become the new "gold standard" for Texas Law Enforcement.
"We started the lengthy process of becoming a "Recognized Agency" in October 2014 with the intent of completing it within two years," WPD Chief Mike Manning said. "This voluntary program required the Weatherford Police Department to conduct a critical self-analysis of our agency’s policies, procedures, facilities and operations."
Manning said it was an arduous task that took them two years to complete.
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“It required us to meticulously scrutinize all of our existing policies and practices, in addition to creating a myriad of new ones,” he said.
Upon completion of the policy changes and internal review processes, an outside audit was conducted. The final on-site review took place on Sept. 20-21. The on-site review was conducted by trained police chiefs from around the state. Two TPCA assessors conducted a two-day on-site independent review of operations, policies and processes to ensure WPD was conforming to the current state-of-the-art practices in law enforcement. The results of this review were then sent to the Texas Police Chiefs Association’s Recognition Committee for final analysis and a decision to award "Recognized" status.
On Oct. 11, the WPD was notified it had been awarded the coveted "Recognized Law Enforcement Agency" award.
"Weatherford Police Department has become the 132 department out of the 2,643 law enforcement agencies in Texas to achieve recognition status," Manning said. "This award places us in the top 5 percent of all Texas agencies to reach that goal. We have always considered ourselves to be one of the best community-oriented police agencies in the State of Texas and this process has assisted us in validating our current policies and processes, and help create more internal and external accountability."
Manning said he was very proud of this accomplishment.
“I couldn't be more grateful for all the hard work that went into this from of all of my officers and civilian staff,” Manning added. “Just because we have met this achievement doesn't mean we are finished, we have a lot of continuous work ahead of us to maintain these high standards. As our police department continues to move forward, our unwavering goals each and every day are to protect life and property, provide the best service possible to our citizens and help make Weatherford a safer and better city in which to live, work and play"
The WPD thanked all of the TPCA consultants and assessors that assisted them during this process. Additionally, they thanked TPCA Foundation Chairperson and Richland Hills Police Chief Barbara Childress for presenting this award to their agency at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.