Collegedale Police have begun the process of seeking accreditation through the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. Acting Chief Jack Sapp and his administration have committed themselves to a standard of accountability, not only to the State of Tennessee whose accreditation they will be seeking, but also to the citizens that the City of Collegedale serves.
Collegedale police have tried several times over the years to obtain state accreditation, however, the intensive process started and stalled each time for various reasons. Under Chief Sapp’s leadership, the process has been revamped and prioritized with the goal of completion and filing for accreditation by the end of 2021.
Since being appointed as the acting agency head in February, Chief Sapp immediately began restructuring and rewriting the agency’s policies and procedures in preparation for the state accreditation process. Sapp’s administration has worked in earnest, in cooperation with MTAS and with state and city attorneys, to rewrite certain department policies or, in many cases, create standards where none had been before. A small portion of these policies, already enacted during the two short months that Chief Sapp has been the city’s Acting Chief include: a new pursuit policy, a new uniform policy that provided a better and more ergonomically designed uniform (redistributing the weight of an officer’s gear, which typically weighs a minimum of 30 to 40 lbs.), a new beard policy with strict grooming standards, internal affairs and citizen complaint policies, oath and ethics policy, vehicle operations, reserve police officers, and field training program policies.
Obtaining accreditation is a laborious, self-initiated evaluation process, involving months of work and a complete review of Collegedale Police Department’s rules, policies, and operations to ensure they fall in line with the best professional law enforcement standards in the State. The time invested is important as other Tennessee police departments show that receiving accreditation results in greater accountability, reduced risk and liability exposure, increased community advocacy, and more confidence in the department to operate efficiently and respond to the community’s needs.
Achieving accreditation will be a significant milestone for Collegedale Police Department and would reflect their tremendous commitment and effort to continuously improve their services. Chief Sapp and his officers believe that completing this process will prove their dedication to maintaining the utmost standard of safety, protection, and compassion for a high quality of life for those that live, work and visit Collegedale.