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Holliston Police Department is Awarded “Certification” Status

by Lieutenant Craig Denman

Holliston Police Department is Awarded “Certification” Status

On May 5, 2016, The Holliston Police Department received state Certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.

Certification is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations, and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation and holding facilities. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to the citizens of the commonwealth.

“Achieving Certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is considered a very significant accomplishment and is a recognition that is highly regarded by the law enforcement community,” said Donna Taylor Mooers, the Commission’s Executive Director.”

Under the leadership of Chief John Moore, the Holliston Police Department was assessed in April by a team of Commission-appointed assessors. 

“Going through the process initially requires intense self-scrutiny, and ultimately provides a quality assurance review of the agency,” said Mooers.  To conduct this self-assessment and prepare for the on-site review of the 159 standards by the Commission, in 2015, Chief Moore appointed Lt. Craig Denman to serve as the Department’s Accreditation Manager. Chief Moore indicated that this is a team effort and acknowledged the input of Sgt. Matthew Waugh, Administrative Assistant Judi Johnson, Lt. David Gatchell, Sgt. Matthew Stone, Sgt. Glenn Dalrymple, Officer John Scanlon, Officer Daniel Griffith and Det. Charles Todd. Chief Moore acknowledged the contributions of the late Lt. Shawn Moore who initiated the accreditation process for the police department. The department’s job is not done, however; Chief Moore’s ultimate goal for the Department is to achieve the Commission’s highest award: Accreditation.   

Certification has been granted for a period of three years.  Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.

( (L-R)  Lt. Craig Denman, Chief John Moore, Administrative Assistant Judith Johnson, Sgt. Matthew Waugh, Lt. David Gatchell)



The standards for certification impact officer and public safety, address high liability/risk management issues, and promote operational efficiency throughout the agency.  The benefits of Certification are therefore many and will vary among participating departments based on the state of the department when it enters the process.  In other words, the benefits will be better known when the department quantifies the changes that it had to make as a direct result of achieving certification.  Generally, these changes involve policy writing, facility improvements and equipment purchases. Listed below are some of the more common benefits. 




  • provides a norm for an agency to judge its performance.
  • provides a basis to correct deficiencies before they become public problems.
  • requires agencies to commit policies and procedures to writing.
  • promotes accountability among agency personnel and the evenhanded application of policies.
  • provides a means of independent evaluation of agency operations.
  • minimizes an agency’s exposure to liability, builds a stronger defense against lawsuits, and has the potential to reduce liability insurance costs.
  • enhances the reputation of the agency and increases the public’s confidence in it.

Mooers added, “Police Certification and Accreditation work to reassure the general public that the law enforcement profession is prepared, trained and ready to handle future emergencies and calls for service.  Agency preparedness begins with having a formal and current Written Directive System that incorporates best business practices into agency policies and operational plans.”

Comments (4)

Congratulations HPD!!

Stacey Raffi | 2016-05-07 14:49:49

I wish to add my thanks to the department for all they do for this town that makes it a great place to live Jean Morrissey

jean morrissey | 2016-05-07 05:57:03

Congratulations to all!

Jackie Dellicker | 2016-05-07 05:31:31

Wow ! Sounds like a great program!!

Mark Ahronian | 2016-05-07 03:23:07