Certification goal attained in Hubbard
When Hubbard Police Chief Dave Rash took oath in December of 2017, he brought with him 26 years of experience from Milwaukie Police Department and an ambition to move his new department forward.
Scarcely more than a year later, a giant step toward that ambition has been achieve.
On January 15 the Oregon Accreditation Alliance Executive Board recommended to the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police that Hubbard Police be certified as an accredited police department in the State of Oregon. Official recognition will take place in April when Hubbard Police will be presented with a certificate during the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police annual meeting.
"Hubbard Police Department did just earn their award of accreditation, and we're very pleased for them and the community," Oregon Accreditation Alliance Executive Director Ed Boyd affirmed.
"In order to be accredited through the Oregon Accreditation Alliance a law enforcement agency must meet 104 best practice standards comprised of over 400 separate requirements contained within those standards. These standards are common throughout the other law enforcement state accrediting bodies throughout the United States."
Boyd itemized a number of benefits resulting from accreditation:Improved service levels; Enhanced understanding of operations; Acknowledged compliance with professional standards; Greater administrative and operational effectiveness; Ensures continuous self-assessment; Decreased liability exposure; Increased morale and pride in the agency; Ensures up to date and relevant policies and procedures that are the best.
Hubbard joins roughly 60 certified agencies statewide, including Woodburn Police and the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Boyd sadi currently only about 24 percent of all Oregon law enforcement agencies have achieved state accreditation.
Rash, who had gone through the accreditation process in Milwaukie, said the process and designation is significant in that it sets standards for the police force and provides incentive to maintain those standards.
The alliance's objective is to establish criteria for improvment and maintenance of professionalism in agencies, ranging from safety precautions to efficiency measures. Its mission statement notes:
"We shall strive to ensure that all our members are served in a professional, eithical, and equitable manner. We aspire to increase the level of law enforcement professionalism among law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Oregon."
Now Hubbard mirrors that objective.
"I'm pretty happy about it," Rash said. "I went through it as a Milwaukee captain, so I've been through this process a couple of times. It was something I wanted to do when I first got here."
There were a number of steps along the way, ranging from ensuring patrol officers have reflective gear for safety on their stops, to hazardous material training, to ensuring the department has an adequate supply of ammunition on hand, to the completion of an accreditation manager's course by administrative assistant Molly Schwartz.
Rash and Boyd said there are more than 100 standard-setting criteria involved.
"We are accredited, so that accreditation sets standards and (provides) a system for adhering to those standards," Rash said. "What I like about it is it requires reviews every year. So every year you have to do a report on internal mechanisms. And if there are issues you have to address them, and that (fortifies) the agency.
"It improves the agency's quality of law enforcement, and that's what we want to do."
Hubbard Mayor Charles Rostocil applauded the accomplishment.
"For me the Hubbard Police Department accreditation is a solid step forward for Hubbard," Rostocil said. "After the department shrank to only two full-time officers a few years ago, which also required temporary outside leadership of the department, I would say the department has come a long way.
"Chief Rash has rebuilt the department with excellent officers that serve Hubbard well."
Rostocil said Rash established the accreditation goal from day one on the job, and the department worked hard to meet it.
"In the end this accreditation demonstrates the Hubbard Police Department is a professional organization in terms of accountability, management, and standards," Rostocil said. "I am personally very proud of what Chief Rash, his officers, and his staff have accomplished."
"Chief Rash came from an accredited organization and was heavily involved with the accreditation process and preparing that agency for the rigorous review process," Boyd said. "When he became the chief at Hubbard, he wasted no time in bringing the HPD into the accreditation process.
"Once an agency achieves original accreditation, they are re-evaluated every three years to ensure ongoing compliance with all standards for law enforcement."