Picayune Police Department accredited

Published 4:56 pm Friday, December 1, 2006

Two years of hard work finally paid off as the Picayune Police Department announced that they are now officially one of three nationally accredited law enforcement agencies in the state of Mississippi.

“The seeds of expectation have been planted,” said Picayune City Council Member Leavern Guy at the press conference Thursday afternoon.

Police Chief Jim Luke said now that the agency is accredited they will be held to a higher set of standards, which will mean an increased level of accountability.

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To get an idea of what it took to become accredited, Luke said the department paid a visit to the Slidell La., Police Department. There former Picayune Police Chief and now Slidell Police Chief Freddy Drennan provided all the insight the Picayune Police Department needed to be successful in its effort to become accredited, Luke said.

Luke said normally the accreditation process takes up to three years, but the Picayune Police Department was able to do it in two years through hard work, dedication and perseverance. To maintain its new status the department will be reviewed every three years, Luke said.

“I am proud of the police department and the support of the community, city council and mayor to keep public safety first,” Luke said.

Recently the department also also received from the city council a 14-1/2 percent salary raise and permission to hire of nine new officers. The new positions are expected to be filled by the beginning of next year, Luke said.