CPD Receives Accreditation
Following a two year evaluation process, the Clinton Police Department has been named an Accredited Agency by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. Clinton becomes the twenty-eighth (28) law enforcement agency in Mississippi to receive the prestigious designation.
With over 350 law enforcement agencies in the state of Mississippi, this accreditation is difficult to attain and represents the highest standards in Mississippi Law Enforcement.
“When I was hired and came here to the city, I had a goal in mind: that was accreditation,” stated Chief Ford Hayman. After recruiting Officer Derek Brown from the Jackson Police Department in February for his contribution to Jackson PD receiving their accreditation, Hayman gave Brown an (18) eighteen month timeline to receive accreditation for the Clinton Police Department. Brown surpassed that timeline with the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission providing a site visit on September 4th and 5th of this year. In early November, the department was notified that CPD received their accreditation.
To attain accreditation, CPD was required to comply with (126) one hundred twenty-six standards for state accreditation during a (2) two year self-assessment. Mississippi State Accreditation standards cover both law enforcement functions, communication functions, and detention functions of an agency.
“Police officers are held to a higher standard. So the question is ‘What is that standard?’ Accreditation is it. The Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is a series of 140 professional standards based on current best practices from around our country,” stated Chief Luke Thompson of Byram Police Department and Head of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.
Accreditation benefits the residents of Clinton by ensuring that CPD meets the highest standards and shows the continued commitment to excellence by the officers and staff of CPD. In addition, the accreditation is useful to help lower the liability insurance premiums for the City of Clinton’s Police Department.
“These standards include things such as use of force, police pursuit policies, search and seizure. All of those items in police department that expose you, as well as the Police Department and individual police officers to the greatest amount of liability. Our (Accreditation Commission) purpose is to provide a standard for your law enforcement and police officers to operate by to limit your risk and exposure to that liability,” added Chief Thompson.
Under the leadership of Mayor Phil Fisher and direction of the Chief of Police, Ford Hayman, the Clinton Police Department serves and protects Clinton residents and students at Mississippi College. The agency is dedicated to having a police force that equally represents the demographics of the City and is using their recruitment program to increase their sworn ranks and eliminate any under-representation.
Accreditation is an acknowledgement that the Clinton Police Department has met the highest standards required of Public Safety agencies in Mississippi. Chief Hayman’s proactive approach to decreasing criminal behavior has resulted in decreased statistics of property crime, robbery, and aggravated assault from 2016 to 2019.
Accreditation is not the end of the efforts to serve the residents of Clinton. Accreditation is the beginning of the efforts to continually represent Clinton with professionalism and honor.