Public sings police praises at reaccreditation forum
On Monday, August 18, a handful of Hyattsville residents and employees attended a public hearing in support of the reaccreditation of the City’s police department. Though the event was open for all input, attendees had nothing but praise for Hyattsville police.
The hearing was held as part of the Hyattsville Police Department’s on-site assessment through the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). Before reissuing the department’s accreditation, CALEA must verify that it meets the commission’s professional standards.
Many testified to what they saw as the police department’s positive handling of the recent violence. One citizen, who said he was speaking on behalf of the father of a victim of the August shooting, described police officers as rushing in to help the wounded young man without regard for their personal safety.
“I grew up in a neighborhood where we actually feared the police department,” said Councilmember Robert Croslin (Ward 2). “I’m proud to say my children grew up without that fear.”
Others described the officers’ involvement in the community. Several praised the department’s involvement in fundraisers and programs such as the Prince George’s County Special Olympics.
The officer who plays Santa, said Councilmember Shani Warner (Ward 2), knows her three-year-old daughter by name.
Even a representative from the Riverdale Park police department came out to speak in favor.
It’s not easy being a police officer in Hyattsville, said City Administrator Tracey Nicholson. The City “has many big city challenges in a small city environment, and [the police] rise to the occasion.”
According to the City of Hyattsville, comments can be submitted to CALEA at the following address:
Attn: Karen Shepard
13575 Heathcote Boulevard
Gainesville, VA 20155
For more information about the CALEA process, the City recommends contacting:
Sgt. Christine Fekete
Accreditation Manager, Hyattsville City Police Department
4310 Gallatin Street
Hyattsville, MD 20781