York County Sheriff’s Office was accredited Oct. 19 by the Maine Law Enforcement Accreditation Program and is the first sheriff’s office in Maine to achieve the designation. On hand for the presentation at the York County Commissioners meeting, from left are, Major Paul Mitchell, York County Sheriff William King, Maine Chiefs of Police Association Director Ed Tolan, who presented the award, and York County Chief Deputy Jeremy Forbes. Tammy Wells Photo

ALFRED — York County Sheriff’s Office has become the first sheriffs’ department in Maine to achieve accreditation by the Maine Chiefs of Police Association through its Maine Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

The department is the 14th law enforcement agency to be accredited, Maine Chiefs of Police Association Director Ed Tolan told York County Commissioners on Oct. 19. Eliot, in southern York County, recently became the 15th police agency in Maine to achieve accreditation. Tolan told county commissioners 10 other agencies have applied and two are in various stages of the process, which includes the ability to prove compliance with 167 professional standards.

Three assessors, all law enforcement officers, examined the records at YSCO, said Tolan, looking at how the department operates and providing “proof they are actually doing these things.”

“They looked at the standards and York County Sheriff’s Office met those standards,” said Tolan.

The process to achieve the designation started a year ago, said York County Sheriff William King, when the department began reviewing their policies and practices to ensure they were up to date and following best industry practices.

That was followed by the site-based assessment by the accrediting agency. King said the standards cover all aspects of law enforcement operations including use of force, protection of citizen rights, pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.


Besides Eliot and YCSO, two other York County law enforcement agencies — Biddeford, and Berwick police departments — are among the 15 agencies accredited by MLEAP. Biddeford is carries national accreditation.

MLEAP Accreditation is for three years; to continue, departments must reapply.

“I’m proud to say York County Sheriff’s Office is accredited,” said King.

County Commission Chair Allen Sicard said being the first sheriff’s office in Maine to achieve the designation is a “pretty good achievement.”

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