Houghton Police Department becomes second accredited department in the UP

This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 7:53 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Houghton City Police Department is officially accredited, following a two-year-long process.

It is now the second accredited department in the Upper Peninsula, preceded by the Marquette Police Department in 2018, and the 63rd department in the state. This status is determined and awarded by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. According to the Houghton police chief, accreditation is a way to improve the department as a whole and build better trust with the community.

“We applied for a grant, and we received that grant, and then it takes about two years to go through this whole process,” said Police Administrative Assistant Polly Salmi. “Providing proofs for every standard.”

A major part of the accreditation process is the department submitting proofs for a year, showing that the department is following standards set by the Association.

“We have to promise that we are following those standards that they provide,” continued Salmi. “We have to provide proofs for that for every standard, and that comes out to about 800 proofs.”

After this step, the association begins to conduct reviews of the department before moving to accreditation. First, a mock assessment is done to make sure the department is following the standards, followed by a full assessment that determines a department’s accreditation. The whole process was handled by both Salmi and Officer Kirk Mills.

“Both of us just started going through the whole process,” added Salmi. “Doing all the proofs, getting everything ready, had the mock assessment, and then had the actual assessment, where we were approved.”

According to Salmi, the Department was given its accreditation in late September and was presented with its accreditation award during last week’s city council meeting. The association will review the department’s accreditation status every three years.