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City public safety department seeks accreditation

By Lisa Brody

The Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety (DPS) was reviewed by a team of assessors from the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC) on Tuesday, May 7, according to public services director Jeffrey Gormley.

To receive accreditation from the commission, departments must meet 105 standards maintained by the commission.

Accreditation is a progressive way of helping law enforcement agencies calculate and improvetheir overall performances. A thorough self-analysis was completed to determine which existing operations already met some of the accreditation standards, and how the procedures could be adapted to meet the standards and professional objectives.

Gormley said MLEAC assessors examined all aspects of Bloomfield Hills department's policies and procedures, management, operations and support services.

“Verification by the team that the Bloomfield Hills DPS 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,” Gormley said.

Bloomfield Hills DPS must comply with 108 standards in order to achieve accredited status. Gormley indicated, “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.”

According to Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the accreditation program director is Chief Ron Wiles (Ret.). “The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar Michigan law enforcement agencies. The assessors 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,” Wiles stated.

Bloomfield Hills City Manager David Hendrickson said the assessment visit went very well, with a report by Gormley to the city commission expected by the June meeting.

“Accreditation, while not mandatory, provides a great framework that a department is operating at a very high level,” Hendrickson said. “It can provide best practices, that there is constant updating. It is not only for residents and businesses, but also says the department is safe because they're acting appropriately based on best available policies and practices in the industry.”

Accreditation is voluntary, and requires agencies to submit annual reports attesting to the compliance of specific standards. The commission’s assessment for accreditation also includes on-site visits to ensure best practices are being met. Accreditation is for three years, with reaccreditation required every three years.

Both Birmingham and Bloomfield Township are accredited police agencies by MLEAC. Bloomfield Township was first accredited in 2019, and was reaccredited in 2022; Birmingham was accredited in 2021.


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