Portales Police Department’s accreditation first in state

PNT Staff Report

By Sharna Johnson

Freedom New Mexico

sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com

The Clovis Police Department is taking a giant step to become more transparent.

It’s a step the Portales Police Department has already taken.

This month, the New Mexico Law Enforcement Professional Standards Council — the accrediting authority for the state — is evaluating the Clovis department’s application.

It’s the first step in a two-year process to attain accreditation.

Clovis Chief Steve Sanders said it’s long overdue and accreditation will enrich the department on many levels.

“It creates public trust, it creates transparency,” Sanders said. “It alleviates the perception that we’re a corrupt organization that just makes up the rules as we go along… it’s not the ‘good old boys club’, because it’s not who you know.”

In 2004, the Portales Police Department became the first NMLEPSC accredited department in the state, according to Diane Lang, the Municipality League’s liaison to the Police Chief’s Association.

There are currently eight accredited agencies in the state and another nine working toward accreditation.

Having an accredited police department is a plus for a community and, “The programs positively effect the communities because they’re positively affecting the departments,” Lang said.