Port Orchard Police Department achieves accreditation status

Port Orchard agency joins other Kitsap law enforcement organizations in becoming accredited

PORT ORCHARD — The Port Orchard Police Department successfully completed a rigorous accreditation program on Nov. 17, administered by the Washington Association for Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), which certifies the organization is operating under the best practices and standards for law enforcement in the state of Washington.

WASPC administers the program, which involves a multi-phase accreditation process over several months, according to the Port Orchard Police Department.

Accreditation granted by the state organization certifies the police department offers administrative and operational effectiveness, uses equitable recruitment and employment practices, utilizes good records management, has improved its use of technology, health and safety, and has improved its training program. It also certifies that the department adheres to professional codes of conduct.

Police Chief Matt Brown

Police Chief Matt Brown

“We have been working on accreditation since I arrived in 2019,” Police Chief Matt Brown said in a news release. “The men and women of this department worked incredibly hard to demonstrate that we serve amongst the best in our profession,” he added.

“We are committed to being open and transparent to our community. Accreditation is one of several steps we have taken to strengthen the public trust.”

The certification is awarded for a four-year period after initial accreditation has been achieved, Brown said. He said this is the first time in the agency’s 80-year history that it has been accredited. All other Kitsap municipal law enforcement agencies, including the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, have accomplished reaching the accreditation status.

The Port Orchard Police Department is one of 63 law enforcement agencies — which make up approximately 25% of all Washington law enforcement agencies — that are currently accredited.

“The Port Orchard Police Department has worked hard to obtain this achievement,” said Steve Strachan, WASPC executive director. “The community should be proud of local law enforcement for taking direct and tangible steps to earn the public’s confidence in their operation.”