Following an exhaustive internal review that measured its level of adherence to a comprehensive list of best practices, the Prosper Police Department has been awarded the “Recognized Law Enforcement Agency” designation from the Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA).
The Police Department was notified of the successful submission for the designation last August, and during the Oct. 10 Town Council meeting, McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley, representing the TPCA, made the presentation.
“We have seasoned, qualified, professional peace officers in the Prosper Police Department who are committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity and competence,” says Police Chief Doug Kowalski. “The practices and standards developed by the TPCA provide a way for us to ensure that we are using the latest and most effective techniques available.”
Over the last several years, the department embarked on a process of examining compliance in areas such as policies, procedures, equipment, facilities and operations based on the 168 best business practices for law enforcement, developed over a two-year period by Texas law enforcement officials and now used in conferring the designation of Recognized by TPCA to local police agencies.
“The Recognized designation verifies that our officers are using the most current best practices in our profession,” said Kowalski. “It also means, in a very clear way, that we are meeting our professional obligations to the Town’s citizens, businesses and visitors.”
To attain the designation, the highest level granted by the TPCA, the Prosper Police Department provided verifiable proof of compliance with each of the 168 best business practices, covering aspects such as appropriate use of force; protection of citizen rights; vehicle pursuits; property and evidence management; and patrol and investigative operations, among others. Some internal policies did not exist and were created, others required rewriting and training on all of the changes was mandated.
An audit team from the TPCA reviewed the department’s operations and facilities, and interviewed the department’s staff. That assessment team developed a report of its findings to the organization’s Recognition Committee. The Committee reviewed the findings and voted affirmatively to award Recognized status to Prosper. The status is good for four years, with annual updates.
“The professionalism of the men and women on our force has never been in doubt, but it’s rewarding to see this kind of acknowledgement from a respected and independent outside source,” he said.
Prosper becomes the latest Texas law enforcement agency to have achieved Recognized status. The department will be officially recognized at the Texas Police Chiefs Association annual conference next April.
More information on the program can be obtained by visiting www.texaspolicechiefs.org.