DALTON, Ga. - The Dalton Police Department has completed the training and instituted procedures to again pass the Law Enforcement Certification Program, according to the director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.
"You are among the best of the best," said Frank Rotondo, executive director the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the largest professional association for law enforcement administrators in Georgia. GACP administers the process.
"Your police chief is excellent and his ability to run the department is unquestioned. You have an excellent law enforcement agency," said Mr. Rotondo.
He said the recertification puts the Dalton Police Department among only 93 units out of 700 statewide to be so recognized.
GACP began the program in 1996 to identify standards essential to the efficient and effective operation of law enforcement agencies.
Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier said Dalton already was in compliance with many of the standards.
"The biggest thing with certification is just making sure that there's a written policy for every departmental function," noted Mr. Frazier, "and that there is documentation that those policies are actually being followed, which can be reviewed by state assessors."
One area for which the Dalton department needed a written policy, for example, was incident command.
"We already had a procedure in place," said Mr. Frazier. "We'd just never written out a fully fleshed-out policy on it."
Having written standards for Georgia law enforcement makes the department more professional, said Mr. Rotondo, and that has benefits.
A major benefit is lower insurance premiums for the city, said Mayor David Pennington, but that is not the most important thing, he said.
Most important is what the certification says about the city's police department.
"The numbers don't lie," Mr. Pennington said. "People need to know that when you look at our data, we're one of the safest communities in America. That's largely because of the police department we have."