(Fort Worth, TX) – There is a law enforcement benchmark in Texas.
And nine Tarrant County law enforcement agencies have reached that level.
This year, eight local police departments as well as the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office obtained accreditation — or re-accreditation — through the Texas Police Chiefs Association. This means that these departments meet or exceed best practices in law enforcement.
“Tarrant County should be proud of its local law enforcement,” Keller Police Chief Brad Fortune said. “While we believe all of our partner law enforcement agencies operate with excellence, we appreciate the third-party confirmation that the Texas Police Chiefs Association provides us through accreditation.”
These best practices were developed by Texas law enforcement to help agencies provide services and protect individual rights. They cover all aspects of law enforcement operations, including the use of force, the protection of citizens’ rights, the management of assets and evidence, and patrol and investigation operations.
This accreditation program began in 2006 and since then more than 100 Texas law enforcement agencies have received accreditation. Recognition lasts four years. It’s not an easy process.
Among the work done in the extensive process: an internal review, an external audit, and a review by Texas police chiefs to ensure that each office is up to all standards. “This process is voluntary and time-consuming,” Azle acting police chief Sid Fuller said. “It’s not taken lightly.”
These local agencies were among those recognized at the Texas Police Chiefs Association annual conference in Galveston this month:
Accredited for the first time: The Lake Worth and Westworth Village Police Departments and the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.
Accredited for the second time: Azle, Fort Worth and Trophy Club Police Departments.
Accredited for the third time: DFW Airport, Keller and White Settlement Police Departments.
“Tarrant County is home to one of the best consortia of law enforcement agencies in the United States,” said Lake Worth Police Chief JT Manoushagian. “Even among such an elite group, there are those who have distinguished themselves by becoming accredited law enforcement agencies. Although elusive, the accreditation process affirms an agency’s commitment to excellence and adherence to accepted best practices.
Each department is honored to have this designation.
“By receiving this status, twice, we are sending a clear message to our community that we are striving to be the best we can be,” said Fuller, of Azle. “The people of Azle, Tarrant County and the State of Texas should be proud of all the agencies that have achieved this status.”
The Fort Worth Police Department, which received its second recognition, said in a statement, “Having so many accredited agencies in our county shows that the Tarrant County law enforcement community is dedicated to best practices within our profession, which will enable us to work together to provide the best possible service to the people of Tarrant County.
White Settlement’s new police chief, Christopher Cook, said he was honored to have his department reaccredited for the third time. “Being one of 186 out of 2,700 agencies across the state reaffirms our commitment to achieving excellence through best practices and upholding the TPCA Gold Standard for policy compliance,” Cook said.
DFW Airport Police Chief Jon Taylor shared a similar sentiment. “Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is committed to the best policing practices for the safety and security of our customers. We are proud to receive this recognition from the TPCA for the third time in a row, as it further demonstrates our commitment to excellence in policing, particularly in policy, training and oversight.
The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is the first attorney’s office in Texas to receive this designation. Acknowledgment goes to the CDA investigators, who participated in this voluntary program.
“Our investigators have worked very hard to secure this coveted recognition,” Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson said. “I am very proud of their work – and the work done by all of the local police departments that have been accredited this year.
“For a county to have so many agencies doing great work is a big deal.”