Award from TPCA

Cedar Hill Police Department received recognition from TPCA TPCA award
From Focus Daily News, Sunday, March 28, 2010 by Rita Cook

"Cedar Hill is truly the benchmark," that's what Cedar Hill Police Chief Steve Rhodes says when asked about his department's recent "Recognized Status" for compliance with the Texas Law Enforcement Agency Best Practices Recognition Program from the Texas Police Chiefs' Association.

"After a 20-month process, the Cedar Hill Police Department became the 31st agency to achieve this recognition status - state accreditation - in Texas," says Rhodes. "We are the best."

It's true, actually, since the Cedar Hill Police Department ended up not only being fully compliant, but of all the 161 items that were checked, none were returned. And, of the 31 departments in the state who have achieved Recognized Status, Cedar Hill is the only one to have no returns.

"None returned,' explains Rhodes "means that there were no modifications, corrections or any denial of our submitted or reviewed standard proofs. That is a perfect record that has not ever been achieved by any of the other 30 police agencies that have achieved recognition status."

Chief Rhodes, at a City Council meeting last week recognized the special efforts of Asst. Chief Armen Tamakian and Lt. Pam Brown and praised the cooperation of all other staff members.

Professionalism, Pride, and Protection
The department-wide process of training, establishing and reviewing policies and procedures, focused on the three "P's" of professionalism, pride and protection, terms that Chief Rhodes says have been taken to heart by all members of the Cedar Hill Police Department. This processed reinforced the professionalism of the department, each individual in the organization can take pride in what we have all accomplished and the protection element reflects what we offer to our community.

Public Information Officer for the City of Cedar Hill Corky Brown explains, "Getting recognition from a statewide organization, like this, is something that was requested by the City Council as a measure of the department's standing among police departments. It is an endorsement of the organization. The focus on attention to detail at every level makes sure that our police department operates in a professional manner, both in terms of internal documentation and the methodology of dealing with the public.

"This emphasis on detail and awareness of the law helps each officer by instilling a deep knowledge of the right thing to do in all situations."

The recognition process is a review of a large number of policies and procedures of the department to see not just how it works, but to see how it is designed to work. They look to see if policies are properly written and properly communicated to all officers. They also make sure that everything is in compliance with federal, state and local laws. If they find an issue with one, they note it and return it to the department for revision. that's the "return" part, which Cedar hill's Police Department passed with flying colors.

At the beginning of the process, the department began with the basics and working up from there, looked at existing policies and finding that some were indeed outdated. Overall, there were 101 policy revisions issued.

Cedar Hill  Achieving Excellence
The Texas Police Chief Association reviewers were so impressed by Cedar Hill's mode of communicating and confirming receipt of Policies and Procedures by each staff member that they are recommending that the Cedar Hill procedures be followed by all other agencies that participate in the Recognition program.

Members of the Cedar Hill Police Department were invited to the 2010 TPCA meeting to conduct instructional programs for departments who are considering the Recognition program.

Marlin Price, Program Coordinator for TPCA said "The Cedar Hill Police Department policies and procedures are one of the most complete and well-written of the agencies in the recognition program. Chief Rhodes noted that this recognition is an honor for the entire city and not the department. "Our community, City Council and city management should be proud and confident to know that they have the benchmark police department in the state, recognized for employing Best Practices in Law Enforcement Management and Operations.