Rochester Police Department vying for state accreditation

Public invited to give feedback on police during accreditation assessment

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published August 10, 2022

 Officer Joe Dusovic, of the Rochester Police Department, shows it’s important to “be happy.”

Officer Joe Dusovic, of the Rochester Police Department, shows it’s important to “be happy.”

Photo provided by the Rochester Police Department


ROCHESTER — The Rochester Police Department is inviting the public to share comments during a voluntary state assessment later this month.

A team of assessors from the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission will arrive on Wednesday, Aug. 24, to examine all aspects of the Rochester Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services.

Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm said verification by the team that the Rochester Police Department meets the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission’s “best practice” standards is part of a voluntary process to achieve accreditation, “a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.”

“This will be our initial accreditation process,” said Schettenhelm. “We just think it’s important to really hold our standards against some statewide and really nationwide standards for what police departments have — these kinds of guidelines that provide confidence for our residents and our guests in the city that this department is doing what it is supposed to do and that we have good policies and procedures in place.”

Accreditation program manager for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Neal Rossow said the assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar Michigan law enforcement agencies.

“The assessors will review written materials, interview agency members, and visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed. 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,” Rossow said in a press release.

The Rochester Police Department must comply with 105 standards in order to achieve accredited status, which officials say acknowledges the implementation of written directives, policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective. A copy of the commission’s standards is available for inspection at the Rochester Police Department, 400 Sixth St., by calling Lt. Keith Harper, accreditation manager, at (248) 651-9621.

“The standards deal with a variety of different factors. There are some that deal with the administration of the Police Department — such as hiring standards to make sure we are doing thorough background investigations and verifying things that make them qualify to become a police officer — to pursuit standards, to make sure we are following guidelines and making our pursuits as safe as possible and that we evaluate both our pursuits and use of force afterwards,” Schettenhelm said.

As part of the final on-site assessment, employees and members of the general public are invited to provide comments about the Rochester Police Department to the assessment team by telephone, email or letter.

Telephone comments — which must be made between 9 and 11 a.m. Aug. 25 by calling (248) 609-0611 — will be limited to five minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with the commission’s standards, according to officials.

Email comments about the Rochester Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards for accreditation can be made through Aug. 25 at or the accreditation program manager at Written comments can also be mailed to the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission at 3474 Alaiedon Parkway, Suite 600, Okemos, MI 48864, before Aug. 25.

“The comments can be positive and negative. We’re looking for both,” Schettenhelm said.

Accreditation, Schettenhelm said, is a significant professional achievement that 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.

Accreditation is valid for three years, during which the agency must submit annual reports attesting to their continued compliance with the standards.

For more information regarding the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, email