The City of Melissa Police Department received the award of "Recognized Law Enforcement Agency" from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Law Enforcement Recognition Program on Jan. 22. Begun in 2006, the Recognition Program evaluates a police department’s compliance with more than 166 best business practices for Texas law enforcement. These best practices were carefully developed by Texas Law Enforcement professionals to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service and the protection of individual’s rights. These best practices cover all aspects of law enforcement operations including use of force, protection of citizen rights, vehicle pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.

This voluntary process required the Melissa Police Department to conduct a critical self-review of the agency’s policies, procedures, facilities and operations. Beginning in October of 2012, the department began the lengthy process to become a "Recognized" law enforcement agency by preparing proofs of compliance for each of the best business practices.

Upon completion of the internal review, an outside audit and review was requested. This final on-site review took place on Jan. 14-15. The on-site review is conducted by trained police chiefs from other areas of our state. The result of this review was then sent to the Texas Police Chiefs Association’s Recognition Committee for final analysis and decision to award "Recognized" status.

On Jan. 22, the department was notified that it had been awarded the coveted award. Melissa becomes only the 92nd agency in the state to be so recognized. Melissa Police Chief Duane Smith, expressed his appreciation for his staff’s efforts .

"I would like to specifically thank Captain Kyle Babcock for his hard work and determination to this process, as well as all members of the police department in their willingness to comply with these best practices," said Smith. "The Melissa Police Department has always considered itself to be one of the best in the state. This process provided for an independent review of the department’s operations and should assure the citizens of Melissa that its police department is conforming to the current state of the art in law enforcement.

The actual presentation of the award was held at the Feb. 11 Melissa City Council Meeting. The department will also be recognized at the Texas Police Chiefs Association annual conference in April.

More information a description of the program may be viewed on the Texas Police Chiefs Association website at http://www.texaspolicechiefs.org.