The Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission (RIPAC) held its awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 to recognize multiple departments, including the Barrington Police Department (BPD), and individuals across the state.
The ceremony honored six police departments who achieved reaccreditation, as well as three individuals for their contributions to the accreditation process. Lt. Wesley McCoy, BPD's Accreditation Manager and Chief Michael Correia were in attendance to receive the award on behalf of Barrington.
The departments receiving reaccreditation awards include:
- Hopkinton Police Department – first reaccreditation award
- Jamestown Police Department – first reaccreditation award
- Burrillville Police Department – second reaccreditation award
- Rhode Island Capitol Police – second reaccreditation award
- Barrington Police Department – second reaccreditation award
- North Kingstown Police Department – second reaccreditation award
In addition to accreditation recognition, the following awards will be presented:
- Chief Anthony M. Pesare Leadership Award: Officer Ken Conti, Newport Police Department
- Assessor of the Year: Lt. Joseph Tougas, Central Falls Police Department
- Accreditation Manager of the Year: Officer Jean Young, Middletown Police Department
Accreditation has long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism in law enforcement. It is a progressive and time-proven management model that provides a means for agencies to systematically conduct an internal review and assessment of its policies and procedures, as well as an in-depth review of every aspect of the agency’s organization, management and operations. Accreditation also consists of a formal, onsite assessment by assessors.
The RIPAC accreditation program is a department-initiated process by which police departments in Rhode Island voluntarily strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the police profession, by the police profession. The Commission recently adopted its second edition standards manual which contains 217 standards. The standards cover six major areas: roles, responsibilities and relationships with other agencies; organization, management and administration; personnel administration; law enforcement operations, traffic and support; prisoner and court-related services; and auxiliary and technical services.
Participation in the program is a signal to Rhode Island communities that their law enforcement agencies are committed to professional standards, willing to be assessed by an Accreditation Commission, and will correct any deficiencies in order to re-establish compliance with the standards.
“Public safety depends on public trust, and building and maintaining trust with the community is heavily dependent on transparency and accountability. Accreditation is designed to help agencies demonstrate — to themselves and the public — their desire to learn and continuously improve,” RIPAC Executive Director Christine Crocker said.
Rhode Island is one of 35 states with an accreditation program. However, Rhode Island is the only state with 99 percent participation by those agencies eligible to participate. There are 46 agencies in the program, 35 of which have achieved RIPAC accreditation.