Located in the Pittsburgh metro area, the CSPD is a customer of Lexipol’s policy, online learning and wellness solutions. The agency used Lexipol’s Law Enforcement State Accreditation Service to achieve accreditation in 2023.
Chief Ken Truver had long understood the benefits of law enforcement accreditation. At his previous agency, he served as accreditation manager. And when he joined the Castle Shannon Police Department (CSPD) as chief in 2009, he set a goal for the agency to become accredited. “We want to be accountable to our local government officials and our residents,” Chief Truver says. “As an agency, we’re on the leading edge of the latest programs, policies and technologies. But we wanted that outside validation that we are as good as we say we are.”
But the project quickly got weighed down. Other priorities always seemed to surface. Resources were stretched thin. The CSPD had an accreditation project manager, but shiftwork prevented him from getting traction. Chief Truver realized if the agency was going to have a shot at becoming accredited, he needed help. “It would have been 5 to 10 years before we could have done it on our own,” he says.
Chief Truver had faced a similar challenge in 2015 with his agency’s policies. For several years, he made updating the agency’s policies a priority, only to make little progress. The solution came in the form of Lexipol’s Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Policies and Training system, which helped CSPD rapidly implement a constitutionally sound, up-to-date set of policies.
“Implementing Lexipol policies was the first step to meeting our accreditation goal,” Chief Truver says. “In fact, we sometimes told ourselves we didn’t need accreditation because with Lexipol, we have the latest case law, statutory law and best practices in law enforcement. While true, it was also an excuse. We didn’t think we had the resources or ability to meet the accreditation standards. So when Lexipol launched its accreditation service, it was perfect timing.”
The Law Enforcement State Accreditation Service builds on Lexipol’s policy management services, adding one-on-one guidance from accreditation experts to help agencies prepare for and achieve accreditation through state accrediting bodies. For CSPD, that meant the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC).
The CSPD’s results were stunning. Working with Lexipol’s accreditation specialists, Chief Truver and his staff achieved accreditation in just 8 months. “PLEAC advises agencies that they’ll spend about 18-24 months. Partnering with Lexipol was key to cutting down that timeline,” Chief Truver says. “They guided us and held us accountable to get the proofs and updates to policy. And they were in the background documenting and filing and updating policy.”
That support continued through the mock assessment and the on-site assessment. “Not only did the Lexipol accreditation specialists work tirelessly doing the preparation work with our accreditation manager, they doubled down on their diligence and commitment during our on-site assessment to meet assessor expectations,” Chief Truver says.
Following the on-site assessment, PLEAC notified Chief Truver the agency had passed. “Our local elected officials are thrilled,” Chief Truver says. “The mayor has wanted this for a long time, long before I got here. To be able to deliver on that makes me very proud of our team.”
He encourages other agencies that may doubt their ability to achieve accreditation to reconsider. “No agency should be afraid of it,” he says. “Working with the Lexipol accreditation specialists gave us confidence we could meet the criteria, and that was huge. Lexipol told us, ‘We can get you there.’ And then they delivered.”