The City of Kalamazoo announced Tuesday afternoon the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has completed a "rigorous' accreditation program. According to the City, the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (MLEAP).(is a) "voluntary accreditation program ensures police departments across Michigan operate efficiently and effectively, while using the best policing practices."


The City says KDPS is the 25th department (of 600 police agencies across the state) to complete this accreditation program. They say MLEAP is a progressive way of helping law enforcement agencies improve their overall performances and critical decision making.

The Michigan accreditation program has identified more than 100 standards accredited agencies must meet and maintain regarding high risk, high liability areas, including use of force, vehicle pursuits, foot pursuits, and search and seizure. - City of Kalamazoo release

MLEAP also covers improving internal and external relations such as:

  • Hiring processes
  • Command structure
    Handling of complaints
  • Equipment
  • Officer training
  • Workplace harassment

Given everything that has happened across the country recently, this accreditation program seems to at least address some of the hot topic issues associated with policing: Every two years officers must receive training in "less lethal weapons and subject control" and officers must receive training in ethics, bias influenced policing, mental health protocols and care of detainees.

The accreditation also mandates that each year, KDPS has to conduct an analysis on all employee misconduct, they must conduct an audit of the property/evidence room, provide performance evaluations for all employees, and complete a summary and analysis of all "Use of Force Incidents", "Vehicle Pursuits", "Foot pursuits", and an annual use of force and firearms training is also required.

KDPS Chief Karianne Thomas says, “over the last two years, we completely overhauled and modernized our policies and procedures — all with the goal of improving public safety for our residents and visitors.”

It will be interesting to see what the reaction to this is in different segments of the community.

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