Federal grant will help WSU Police Department secure professional accreditation

WSU Police cruiser
WSU Police cruiser

The Washington State University Police Department’s efforts to earn prestigious law enforcement accreditation are getting a boost from the U.S. Justice Department.

Although not required of law enforcement agencies, accreditation from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs helps ensure and demonstrate that departments are operating under the best available standards and practices, said WSU Police Chief Gary Jenkins.

“By working to improve our own departmental operations and procedures, we believe accreditation by a respected organization like the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs will demonstrate our commitment to overall excellence,” said Jenkins. “We want to achieve the highest degree of public confidence and continue to be a vital resource to the local community.”

We want to achieve the highest degree of public confidence and continue to be a vital resource to the local community.

WSU Police Chief Gary Jenkins

WSUPD is using the two-year, $133,000 grant to improve security within its facility, purchasing software to help with record keeping, and retaining a graduate student to manage grant requests and required reports, among other initiatives. The department will also undergo an organizational assessment by WASPC to ensure best practices, policy and organizational structure as part of the accreditation review. Of the more than 250 law enforcement agencies in Washington, just 73 are accredited by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

The grant was awarded by the Department of Justice through the Community Policing Development-Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation program. WSUPD’s grant efforts were led by Jenkins, Assistant Chief Dawn Daniels, and Sergeant Kelly Stewart in collaboration with Megan Parks, a PhD candidate and previous research fellow in the Public Safety Research Assistant program.  

WSU’s Doctoral Level Graduate Research Assistantship for Public Safety is supported by the Graduate School as well as the College of Arts and Sciences, housed within the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and led by Associate Professor David Makin. The collaboration allows a doctoral researcher to help WSUPD and other state agencies use data to make informed decisions and implement evidence-based practices more readily. 

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