PO­LICE DEPART­MENT GETS AC­CRED­I­TA­TION STA­TUS

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Farence afarence@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @afarence on Twit­ter

The East Brandy­wine Po­lice Depart­ment is now of­fi­cially re­garded by the Pennsylvania Chief’s of Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion as an ac­cred­ited po­lice depart­ment, a dis­tinc­tion few po­lice de­part­ments get.

At the reg­u­lar board of su­per­vi­sors meet­ing Wed­nes­day evening, East Brandy­wine Po­lice Chief Mark D. Kocsi for­mally an­nounced the recog­ni­tion given to the town­ship’s po­lice depart­ment.

“It is an honor to serve along­side you each and ev­ery day,” he said, ad­dress­ing all of the res­i­dents, fam­ily, friends, and po­lice of­fi­cers present.

He said dur­ing the cer­e­mony that, Pa­trol­man Jef­fery Yankanich, a 17-year vet­eran of the po­lice depart­ment, vol­un­teered to take on the job as the ac­cred­i­ta­tion man­ager.

Yankanich said he wanted to take on the pro­ject.

“He did a phe­nom­e­nal job,” Kocsi said.

Ac­cred­i­ta­tion is a sta­tus few po­lice de­part­ments at­tain; just a lit­tle over 100 de­part­ments are ac­cred­ited out of 1,200 in Pennsylvania, and only a hand­ful of po­lice de­part­ments in Ch­ester County are ac­cred­ited.

“Ac­cred­i­ta­tion is not only about what we do right,” Kocsi said. “It is also about mak­ing

sure that when we do some­thing wrong, that we are trans­par­ent about our mis­take, and that we take the nec­es­sary steps to cor­rect the wrong­do­ing.”

Be­fore Kocsi pre­sented the of­fi­cers with their ac­cred­i­ta­tion pins, he also ac­knowl­edged two po­lice depart­ment sec­re­taries, Rose Jami­son and Jackie Smed­ley for their sup­port as well.

Also at­tend­ing the cer­e­mony was Mag­is­te­rial District Judge Jef­frey Valoc­chi and the chief of the Ch­ester County De­tec­tives, Kevin Dykes.

From the ac­cred­i­ta­tion com­mis­sion, Wil­liam Daly, chief of Horsham Town­ship po­lice in Mont­gomery County, and

Ron­ald Macpher­son, chief of Up­per Southamp­ton po­lice in Bucks County, were also present and like­wise con­grat­u­lated the East Brandy­wine po­lice of­fi­cers.

Sta­tus as an ac­cred­ited depart­ment is not per­ma­nent, po­lice de­part­ments can lose their sta­tus if they do not main­tain the level of pro­fes­sion­al­ism that earned them that sta­tus in the first place.

Phoenixville, North Coven­try, West­town-East Goshen, Up­per Uwch­lan, and now East Brandy­wine are the only ac­cred­ited agen­cies in Ch­ester County, ac­cord­ing to the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion.

The pro­gram was in­tro­duced by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion in 2001, and at­tempts to im­prove the qual­ity of po­lice de­part­ments across the state by re­view­ing pol­icy and pro­ce­dures, then up­dat­ing prac­tices in the depart­ment to meet those pro­ce­dures.

The last step is an eval­u­a­tion to de­ter­mine if the po­lice depart­ment is wor­thy of ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site, ben­e­fits of be­ing an ac­cred­ited depart­ment in­clude im­prov­ing re­la­tions be­tween law en­force­ment and the com­mu­nity, re­duc­ing ex­po­sure to law­suits, and de­creas­ing some li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance ex­penses.

Kocsi said “ac­cred­i­ta­tion val­i­dates at the high­est level the prom­ises we have made to you.”

ADAM FARENCE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Jef­fery Yankanich, the ac­cred­i­ta­tion man­ager for the East Brandy­wine Po­lice Depart­ment, car­ries the ac­cred­i­ta­tion plaque as he walks by his fel­low of­fi­cers.

ADAM FARENCE—DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Most of the East Brandy­wine Town­ship Po­lice Depart­ment was present for the cer­e­mony on Wed­nes­day.

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