NAUGATUCK — A state agency that assesses police departments has given the borough’s police department a top ranking.
The Connecticut Police Officer Standards Training Council, or POST, awarded Tier III accreditation, the highest rating it offers, to the Naugatuck Police Department last Thursday.
The accreditation process is voluntary. The department opted for the review to learn how to improve its services and prove that it is a reputable law enforcement agency. The accreditation is also supposed to promote public and employee confidence in the department.
The accreditation came after an in-depth, on-site assessment of the department that included a review of policies, procedures and operations. It also included an inspection of the department’s facilities on Spring Street, as well as interviews with employees.
POST assessors went to the department at the end of January for two days and found that it was in compliance with all of its 327 standards. Those include policies for investigating various complaints, crime analysis, crime prevention programs, traffic enforcement, training policies, accountability of officers, search and seizure procedures, annual training in use of force and emergency preparedness.
The department also was ranked on its relationship with the community and investigated for its work with various local cultural and ethnic populations and the community involvement of its officers, many of whom participate in volunteer programs at schools and recreational organizations, according to the study.
Lt. Robert Harrison, police spokesman, said the attainment of Tier III accreditation puts Naugatuck among a small group fewer than 20—though the exact number could not be determined—police departments in the state that have reached the top accreditation level.
He said the process took 18 months. He said all of the borough’s policies and procedures were rewritten to bring them into compliance with professional standards and best practices. The process was led by accreditation managers, Capt. Jeremiah Scully and Sgt. Steven Hunt. Harrison said the accreditation was attained by the dedication and commitment of all 54 uniformed officers.