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Police accreditation on city council agenda

Among the big ticket items for City Council tonight is a review of a request by the Williamsport Bureau of Police to join a program that would assist it toward becoming an accredited professional department.

Such accreditation, which could take up to 18 months to achieve, could provide a framework on which the department policy and training is established by review of peer agencies, thereby reducing the problems whenever a department faces litigation and wants to remain policy driven rather than overseen by personalities, said Chief Damon Hagan.

The cost to join the accreditation program is $6,500 a year, a contract that is up for renewal each year.

“It is going to open up a lot of things,” Hagan said.

“Police accreditation as a program offers us a framework to rewrite policies,” he said. “It also allows us to track every single policy and procedure and who signed for it and police officer training,” he said.

The program will help the police to track the number of subpoenas it receives on criminal and civil court matters, he said.

It provides framework for policies, training and evidence gathering with best practice standards.

“We believe that framework to be necessary to be considered by peer agencies as one of the more professional agencies,” Hagan said.

Best of all, it could limit the chances for lawsuits against the city, with proper training processes in place.

“We budgeted for it under police training line item,” he said.

Other notable decisions that are anticipated is the renewal vote for John Markley as a member of the Lycoming County Veterans Memorial Park Commission and a discussion on revenue collection by Nicholas Grimes, treasurer and tax collector.

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