Haverhill Police Department Aims to Improve ‘Public Trust’ Through Prestigious Certification Award

Accepting Haverhill's honor were (from left) Chief Alan DeNaro, Deputy Chief Anthony Haugh, Lt. Doreen Champagne, Capt. Robert Pistone and Capt. Michael Wrenn. (Courtesy photograph)

The Haverhill Police Department’s ongoing commitment to professional excellence and public safety has put the state’s Police Accreditation Commission on notice, with the group formally extending a certification to the department in late February.

As part of the prestigious two-step process to become accredited, the Haverhill Police Department was assessed on more than 150 standards relating to use of force, communications and patrol, traffic and criminal operations, among others. Chief Alan R. DeNaro appointed Lt. Doreen Champagne, a 16-year veteran of the force, to oversee the department’s application for the professional honor.

“It’s a very transparent process that shows the public how we operate and what we do. It enhances morale and hopefully public trust,” she explained to WHAV. “If we hold ourselves accountable to a high level, hopefully the public can as well.”

Following a self-assessment phase, members of the Accreditation Commission audited the department over two days to suggest action items and praise what worked for the agency, Champagne said. Haverhill received especially high marks for continuing education opportunities DeNaro affords to officers.

“That definitely was a way to measure the caliber of officers in this department. When you allow officers to stay fresh, learn about their jobs and jobs they aspire to, that’s one of the important things a chief can do for his or her department,” Champagne said.“ The Chief had done that prior to this process, so that went hand-in-hand with creating a gold standard for this department.”

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