Police Department Seeks Accreditation and Town Funds

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Tuesday night Police Chief Terence Delehanty will ask the town council for funding to help the department move towards being one of under 100 communities seeking to have an accredited police department.

Delehanty is asking for $22,090 to make repairs to the cell block area and another $7,816 for work in the evidence room for a total of $29,906.

“This request is part of the accreditation process,” Delehanty said. “We will be held to certain standards.”

He explained that there are three phases to becoming accredited: the beginning phase, the certified phase and the accredited phase. Sgt. Mary Crisafi has been working on what is needed for the accreditation to take place in 2017.

For Winthrop, part of the beginning phase meant installing two AED units and two first aid kits in the station. Now there has to be some modifications made to the cell block and the evidence areas.

“We are in the self-assessment phase of the process,” said Crisafi, adding that accreditation will come from the Massachusetts Accreditation Commission.

“This professionalizes us and holds management to a industry standard. It includes liability and requires layers of review when force is used by an officer,” said Delehanty, adding that the state of Florida has had cases dismissed because of use of force policies, causing police to meet certain standards.

Sgt. Steve Rogers has been working on the evidence area, which are three closet size areas and one bank size vault which contain evidence from rape cases, drugs and guns. The department hopes to develop two other evidence areas with secure doors in the detective’s work area. The evidence areas will be connected to a key-FOB system to monitor who is in and out of the evidence areas. Not even the chief will have access, Delehanty said.

“Only two people will be in charge of access,” Delehanty said.

Since the 2016 Braintree evidence problem where drug cases were being dropped because of problems with the evidence, there has been more of a move toward making police departments more modernized, Delehanty said.

There will be shelving and electrified doors for the key-FOB system.

In the cell block area in the basement of the Police Station on Pauline Street work also has to be done. The sprinkler heads currently could be used to tie something to. Now recessed sprinkler heads will be used as a safer option. The sinks in the six jail cells also have to have water at a safe temperature to prevent scalding. The lighting fixtures need a special sealant and the walls will be painted with a specially installed institutional paint for easy cleaning.

The Town Council meets at 7 p.m. in the Harvey Hearing Room in Town Hall.

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