Traverse City Police Completes Review of Policies and Procedures

The Traverse City Police Department is opening its books to an independent review process.

The Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission is evaluating all of the department’s policies and procedures.  That includes everything from the use of force, to evidence room policies, to the use of petty cash. Tcpd Accreditation

Police Chief Jeff O’Brien says, “It’s very comprehensive. It’s going through the department and changing how you do business. There’s this broad range of best practices, and how you professionalize the business.”

It’s a process that looks at over 100 standards to see if the TCPD lives up to “best practices” and high law enforcement standards.

Daniel Mills with the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission says, “The agency is responsible for writing written directives that comply with best practices. Then they have to demonstrate they’re actually doing what they say they do.”

TcpdMills says Traverse City is one of the only departments in all of northern Michigan to go through this accreditation process, and one of only two dozen across the entire state.

“Agencies decide to voluntarily go through this process. It’s not a mandate. So it’s an opportunity to look at themselves, better their agencies and improve their community service.”

The police chief says the policies and procedures hadn’t been updated since 2005 and it’s time to re-evaluate. However, his department has been preparing for this evaluation for the past four years.  O’Brien says they are not motivated by current national events or a concern over police culture.

“We were really ahead of the curve because we were going through this process already,” Chief O’Brien says. “This is one step for accountability and that we’re responsible to the citizens that we serve. That’s why it’s really important that we get this accreditation.”

Mills says, “The Chief and his commanders and command staff have demonstrated a deep desire to improve their agency. It’s very evident… they have a deep desire to move the agency forward, be progressive, and comply with these best practices.”

The accreditation review was a two-day process and wrapped up on Wednesday. The city should know whether they’ve achieved the state accreditation sometime next month.