TEXARKANA, Texas – The Texas A&M University-Texarkana University Police Department (UPD) recently earned Best Practices re-accreditation through the Texas Police Chief’s Association. The accreditation process is lengthy and exceptionally thorough, according to Texarkana Texas Assistant Police Chief Shawn Fitzgerald, who is on the nine-person Accreditation Committee and presented the award to UPD Chief Alex Serrano.
The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is a voluntary process through which law enforcement agencies are required to prove compliance with a set of 170 Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices. The best practices were approved by a committee of Texas police chiefs and command-level officers and are considered the gold standard for law enforcement agencies in the state.
There are currently 2800 police departments in the state of Texas, and only 197 have been awarded the accreditation. Fewer still have been able to get re-accredited, which happens every four years. “The Best Practices Accreditation is a professional standard for law enforcement that is rarely met,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s a time-consuming and difficult process. This shows the level of commitment from Chief Serrano and the university’s police officers and their dedication to public safety.”
“We are immensely proud of the commitment our University Police Department officers and staff demonstrate on a daily basis to keep our campus safe,” said A&M-Texarkana President Dr. Ross Alexander. “This elite accreditation is the gold standard for police departments across the state. I commend Chief Serrano and his team for achieving it.”