EMMAUS BOROUGH COUNCIL
The Emmaus Police Department was given its fourth Chief’s Accreditation Award at the Emmaus Borough Council meeting Sept. 4.
Dick Hammon, accreditation project manager for the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, said the police department received its first accreditation in 2006 and has been re-accredited every three years since.
“It gets harder as time goes on,” Hammon said. “I think a lot of people misunderstand the program and think that once you get accreditation it’s a simple thing; it’s not a simple thing.”
Hammon said he believes the assessors the association sends out think, “‘well, they’ve been in the program for a little bit too long, so we ought to find something wrong,” and I really honestly believe that.”
He went on to state the police department has done an excellent job over the years and the Emmaus Police Department has become one of the premier borough departments involved with the accreditation program.
According to Hammon, there are 133 professional standards set by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. Departments are required to show the association they have policies which cover those standards and then have to prove the department follows them.
“I always like to ask ... how would you like it if somebody came to your office and pulled your file drawers open and started riffling through your work to see how you were doing?” Hammon said. “That’s what this police department is willing to do, and a lot of chiefs won’t stand for that.”
Council President Brent Labenberg noted how “extremely proud” he was of the police department. “It [accreditation process] is an effort, and it is something that should be praised. I hear good things from other people in this county and it’s because you have a reputation.”
There are over a dozen benefits with having an accreditation including establishing a credible framework for evaluating agency practices and procedures, reducing agency risk and exposure to lawsuits, decreasing some liability insurance expenditures, identifying and highlighting the capabilities and competence of the agency and extending agency accountability to the public and elected officials.
In related news, 22-year-old Jayme Lee Whipple, of Nazareth, was sworn in as a new hire for the police department. The Nazareth High School alum graduated from the Allentown Police Academy in 2017.
Whipple’s hire is contingent upon successfully passing a physical exam, a psychological exam, successfully completing all requirements in accordance with the Municipal Police Officers’ Education & Training Commission standards and completing a one-year term of probation.
In other business, Borough Manager Shane Pepe provided an update on the potential convenience store development on Cedar Crest Boulevard. The developers have asked to meet with the borough’s engineer and Pepe sometime in September to go over their comments before they submit their plan.
Pepe said he isn’t sure whether the developers will be ready for the October planning commission meeting or not, but as of right now they have not submitted a preliminary plan. Once the preliminary plan is submitted, they will have 90 days to act.