KINGSTON TWP. – The Kingston Township Police Department celebrated an eight-year victory in the making Thursday night with an open house.
During the event, the department unveiled its accredited law enforcement certificate from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
Dallas Township Police Chief and President of the Pennsylvania Police Chiefs Association Robert Jolley explained the importance of accreditation in his brief remarks, simply defining it as “best practices.” For an agency to be accredited, there are 138 standards that it must meet. If even one is not met, it will not be eligible.
“If you were to have heart surgery, I’m sure you would want it to be done in a licensed medical facility,” he said, adding that the same is expected of a police force. .
“We hold ourselves to a higher standard because that’s what is expected of us,” said Kingston Township Police Chief Michael Moravec.
Moravec said he was both proud and touched by the accomplishments of the department.
“We have a very committed and dedicated group of police here,” he said.
The department enrolled in the accreditation program approximately eight years ago. Asked how long the process would take, the leader held up a policy book a few inches thick. Many policies needed to be updated, file maintenance issues had to be corrected, and assessments had to be performed.
When Moravec was appointed chief in October 2014, one of the first tasks he received from the township supervisory board was completing the accreditation process, he said.
No problem. The department was on the right track.
But then he learned he had taken notice of his end-of-year deadline.
“I felt weak and dizzy, my eyes rolled to the back of my head and I felt sick,” he said, laughing as he remembered.
But when he presented the task to his officers, not one hesitated.
“To their credit, we were ready by December 31,” he said.
Township Oversight Chairman Jim Reino said in his brief remarks at the ceremony that he believed the township had “the best police force in all of northeastern Pennsylvania.”
“Accreditation is a very difficult thing to do,” he said. “And our officers all work together, along with the rest of the staff. … It just shows what kind of city Kingston Township really is. We have been a very progressive and straightforward type of city. We tried to be leaders in the community, and now we are leaders in the state, with our accreditation from our police force.
The Pennsylvania Association of Chiefs of Police, according to its website, introduced the program in July 2001, and since then more than 300 agencies have signed up, 101 of which have achieved accreditation status.
The Kingston Township Police Service is the fourth in Luzerne County to be licensed. Dallas Township, Hanover Township and Swoyersville Borough are also accredited. County municipal departments that have registered but have not yet completed the process include the Township of Butler, the Borough of Kingston, the Borough of Laflin, the Township of Lehman, the Town of Nanticoke, the Borough of West Pittston, Town of Wilkes-Barre and Township of Wright.
Kingston Township Police Chief Michael Moravec and Dallas Township Police Chief and President of the Pennsylvania Police Chiefs Association Robert Jolley unveil the Kingston Township Department’s Certificate of Enforcement the law accredited by the Pennsylvania Police Chiefs Association in a ceremony Thursday night.