Police department has earned a distinctive honor

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CARL EXNER - Sandy Police Chief Kim Yamashita, flanked by officers and staff members, receives a framed certificate of accreditation, an honor earned by the entire department with the chiefs leadership.Sandy Police Chief Kim Yamashita recently accepted a framed certificate of accreditation for her department from Ed Boyd, executive director of the Oregon Accreditation Alliance.

Boyd, who is police chief at Albany, said the award has such high standards that it has been earned by only 19 percent of the law enforcement agencies in Oregon.

“It’s a very small and select few,” Boyd told the City Council at a recent meeting. “Accreditation means that an agency and their operations, management, policies and procedures meet the best practices the industry has to offer.

The accreditation process, in general, is a progressive and contemporary way of helping law enforcement agencies evaluate and improve their overall performance.”

Boyd congratulated Yamashita for the amount of work he knew she had to do to reach this department and city goal.

“It takes a lot of courage for an organization to take on the rigorous accreditation process,” Boyd said.

The Sandy Police Department allowed an “outside third party” into the department, Boyd said, to inspect everything and offer an opinion about whether Sandy meets the best-practice standards.

“That shows commitment, transparency and dedication to excellence,” said Boyd, who knows that commitment from a chief of police is necessary to reach this goal.

“This is a big deal,” he told the council.

Members of her office staff as well as sergeants and officers joined Yamashita at the council meeting to receive congratulations from Boyd. The department’s status must be reviewed and renewed every three years.

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