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Rockwall police recognized in top 2% of Texas police agencies

ROCKWALL – The Rockwall Police Department has been recognized as only the 42nd police agency out of 2,800 in Texas – in the top two percent – to be awarded “Recognized” status by the Texas Police Chiefs Association.

Rockwall Police Chief Mark Moeller was presented with a Certificate of Recognition by TPCA committee members at the March 21 City Council meeting, after it was approved for “Recognized” status by the committee March 3.

Pictured above, right to left are: Keller Police Chief Mark Hafner, RPD Chief Mark Moeller, RPD Lt. Kirk Aldridge, RPD Asst. Chief Kirk Riggs & Rockwall Mayor Bill Cecil (photo by Bob Lewis, PlanetRockwall.com).

According to a news release from Rockwall Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeff Welch, the “Recognition Program” was developed a few years ago by the Texas Police Chiefs Association to assist Texas police agencies in meeting their professional obligations to their citizens. It is a voluntary process where police agencies prove their compliance with law enforcement’s current ‘Best Practices.”

Being “Recognized” means that the agency meets or exceeds all of the 164 identified Best Practices, which cover every aspect of law enforcement from pursuits, use of force, protection of citizen rights, evidence and property management, and other patrol and investigative operations, he wrote.

“This “Recognized” status ensures that an agency has carefully planned for these critical issues, has developed policies and procedures to address them, as well as put systems in place to identify and correct problems.”

Sgt. Welch said police officers exercise government’s highest powers – the power to stop and question an individual; the power to arrest and seize a person and his property; and the power to use force, including deadly force, in that process.

“Police agencies direct and control an officer’s activity through supervision, training and written policies and procedures. Since supervisors cannot always be present, officers often operate alone. This means training and policies, along with the appropriate equipment, are even more critical to ensure proper performance.”

“The Recognition Program assures city management and the citizens that their Police Department is operating within the best practices of law enforcement. The review process of policies, the on-site visit to inspect equipment and facilities, interviews of staff, and proof of compliance in all areas took over a year.”

After receiving the award, Chief Moeller said:

“I’m very proud of the men and women of this Police Department, not only for achieving “Recognized” status, but for their professionalism, hard work, and outstanding service they provide our community every day.”

“Our department had already implemented and were operating under the  vast majority of the 164 Best Practices. However, participating in this program enhanced our policies and procedures and raised our efficiency to an even higher level.”

“The process takes about a year and a half and requires a great deal of time and effort, especially by the program coordinator who was Lt. Kirk Aldridge.”

“He was asked to take on this project on top of his regular duties as commander of the Criminal Investigations Division. Our Executive Assistant, Diana Snyder, also worked very hard in typing and formatting all the policies and procedures for submission and review.”

“The Recognition Program developed by the Texas Police Chiefs Association is an outstanding program and well worth the effort of any police agency to enhance and better prepare for all those critical issues, as well as daily administrative functions, required of all police departments,” stated Chief Moeller.”

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