Olive Branch police work towards accreditation

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - The Olive Branch Police Department is working hard trying to accomplish something that no other police department in DeSoto County has done: gain accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Members of the Mississippi Commission of Law Enforcement will review the department's policies in an on-site visit based on 110 specific state standards.

"Anything that occurs on the street - our policy and procedure is going to tell you exactly what to do, and that way the citizens of Olive Branch know that we are following state guidelines," accreditation officer Leann Farr said.

Officials will also review whether current policies match current practice.
"It's not just our policy and procedure we made up. This is policy and procedure that the state is monitoring," Farr said.

The review comes at a busy time for the department, which is also preparing to move into a new building, scheduled for completion by the end the year.

Assistant Police Chief Don Gammage said accreditation for the 65 member police force has been a goal for some time. If they receive it, they will be one of only 10 accredited police departments in the state of Mississippi. Gammage said officers want to do things the right way.

"This is a goal for us.  It's been a goal of his for a while to get this done. We want to make sure that our officers are trained, professional and that this department is professional," Gammage said.

The preparation process for the accreditation began in February, with the final assessment scheduled for November.

Click here to send an email to Chip Washington.