BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
The Spring Hill Police Department received, for the second time, Law Enforcement Accreditation from the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) for its performance in 2018.
The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the “continued improvement of law enforcement and emergency communications services by establishing professional standards of accountability, management, and operations,” as written on the TACP website.
Spring Hill’s police department first received the accreditation in 2015.
With about 50 officers, the Spring Hill Police Department has served the community for decades, continually growing alongside the city’s population. Detective Michael Foster said the department has made significant advancements in recent years, and that the award demonstrates as much.
“It’s important because it sets the standard for the state of Tennessee as far as policies, and adhering to those policies,” Foster said. “There’s 150 standards that we have to be in compliance with; the main ones are use of force, search and seizure, domestic violence, training, patrol procedures… just basic stuff.”
Of some of the recent advancements in the department’s technology and procedures, Foster considers the implementation of body cameras to be the most critical.
“The biggest thing now is body cameras, most of our officers have them now, if not all the police officers on patrol,” Foster said. “That’s really helps with transparency and citizen complaints. Using technology that way is probably the biggest [advancement in recent years]. We [also] do a lot more forms, so we’re doing a lot better job about documenting pretty much everything.”
Formed in 1970, the TACP outlines a list of procedures and policies for police departments to follow, and awards departments that meet its criteria. The program is voluntary, and simply helps departments across the state behave and operate according to a more consistent standard.
The TACP evaluates departments every three years.