The Victoria Police Department has received for the third time top accolades from the Texas Police Chiefs Association.
The department was named a “Re-Recognized Agency” through the association’s accreditation program, called the Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices Recognition Program. Only 139 of more than 2,400 agencies have received the recognition, and only 58 have been named “Re-Recognized” by the association.
Police Chief J.J. Craig said the department must meet 168 professional standards based on Texas law and contemporary best practices.
“It’s viewed today as being the gold standard of accreditation programs,” Craig said Friday. “This year, we did extremely well. We’re viewed as one of the top agencies when it comes to those 168 different criteria.”
Preparing for the evaluation process takes about a year, Craig said. Auditors from the Texas Police Chiefs Association evaluated the agency for two days. The auditors evaluate the agency based on policy, procedures, organization, ride-alongs and employee interviews.
Craig said the police department did exceptionally well in key measures such as use of force, protection of citizens’ rights, vehicle pursuits, property and evidence management and patrol and investigative operations.
Police agencies are eligible to be recognized every four years.
The department received this recognition in 2012 and 2009. Additionally, the department was one of the first agencies in the state to be recognized when the program was created almost 10 years ago, he said.
Two plaques were awarded to the police department for their recognition. One will be hung in the hallway of the police department; the other will be placed in Craig’s office.
The plaque was presented to Craig during the City Council meeting Tuesday by El Campo Police Chief Terry Stanphill, who said the program committee voted unanimously to award the Victoria Police Department recognized status.
“The Victoria Police Department is a leader in law enforcement in Texas, and you…