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The Fall River Police Department has the distinct honor of being both internationally (CALEA) and state(MPAC) Accredited. We are the largest agency in Massachusetts to have both honors.

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The Fall River Police Department, under the leadership of Police Chief John M. Souza, aggressively undertook the self initiated process of Certification and Accreditation that is governed by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission and National Accreditation governed by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies in August of 2005. This process is a mechanism by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established by the profession and for the profession. The standards have been carefully selected to reflect the critical areas of police management, operations, and technical support functions. The areas covered include: policy development, emergency response, planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation and holding facilities. The Certification and Accreditation programs not only set standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to the citizens of the City of Fall River.

Participating in the Accreditation process initially requires self-scrutiny and ultimately provides a quality assurance review of the Department. The Department initially undertook the Certification process and allowed independent assessors from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission to review Department policies and procedures. The Department received Certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission on December 7, 2006.


The Department then aggressively pursued the commission's highest award, accreditation. Through the cooperative effort of every member of the Department, the Department complied with over 400 standards to accomplish this goal. The Fall River Police Department was awarded Accreditation status on June 21, 2007.

The standards for certification and accreditation (MPAC and CALEA) impact officer and public safety. They also address high liability issues and promote operational efficiency throughout the police department. The benefits are many and vary among police departments based on the state of a department when it initially enters the process. The benefits of certification and accreditation are realized by making changes in operations which generally involve policy writing, facility improvements and equipment purchases. Some of the most common benefits of a department participating in the process are:

•  Providing a norm for the Department to judge its performance

•  Providing a process to correct deficiencies before they become public problems

•  Requiring the Department to commit to policies and procedures in writing

•  Promoting accountability among Department personnel

•  Ensuring consistent application of policies

•  Providing a means of independent evaluation of the Department's operations

•  Minimizing the Department's exposure to liability

•  Building a stronger defense against lawsuits

•  Providing the potential to reduce liability insurance costs

•  Enhancing the reputation of the department

•  Increasing the public's confidence in the Department

The Department embarked to obtain the highest achievement a Police Department can strive for, obtaining national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.(CALEA) On November 21, 2009 the Fall River Police Department was awarded the highest accreditation a law enforcement agency can obtain by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Since that original award, the department has successfully been reaccredited every four (4) years.

For further information please contact the Department’s Accreditation Manager:

Lieutenant Joseph Galvao
Office of Planning, Training & Accreditation
Phone: 508-676-8511 x212

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On June 21, 2022, the Fall River Police Department received its fifth re-accreditation award at a ceremony held by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.

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