Birmingham police seek input for department accreditation

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 21, 2021

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BIRMINGHAM — The Birmingham Police Department is wrapping up its efforts to earn accreditation from the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.

Now the department needs help from residents to put the final touches on the application.

Cmdr. Scott Grewe said the department has reached the point in the accreditation process where assessors will make a site visit to get a closer look at BPD operations and review its policies.

Chief Mark Clemence explained that, if the department can comply with 105 standards outlined by the commission, they’ll earn that sought-after seal of approval that could benefit residents in a number of ways.

“Accreditation results in greater accountability within the agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, stronger defense against civil lawsuits, increased community advocacy, and more confidence in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and respond to community needs,” Clemence said in a prepared statement.

As part of that final on-site assessment, employees and members of the general public are invited to weigh in on the Birmingham Police Department by submitting an email to the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission team. Comments can be sent to birminghampolice@bhamgov.org with “Accreditation comments” in the subject line. They can also be submitted directly to assessors at nrossow@michiganpolicechiefs.org.

A copy of the standards are available for reference at the Birmingham Police Department, 151 Martin St. Participants are encouraged to contact Lt. Greg Wald at (248) 530-1775 for more information.

Accreditation is valid for a three-year period, during which time the department must continue to submit annual reports attesting to its continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

The accreditation program manager for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police is retired former Chief Neal Rossow, who explained the process the Birmingham department is undertaking is a hefty one.

“The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar Michigan law enforcement agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview agency members, visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed,” Rossow said in a prepared statement. “Once the assessors complete their review of the agency, they will report to the full commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status.”

Questions about the process can be submitted to Rossow at nrossow@michiganpolicechiefs.org.

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