The Lower Saucon Township Police Department is proud to announce that it has been recognized as an Accredited Law Enforcement Agency by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.
On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, Chief Guy L. Lesser, Sergeant Thomas Barndt, Detective Corporal Christopher Leidy, and Corporal Timothy Connell attended the Commission Meeting as part of the 10th Annual Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Training Conference held in Harrisburg, PA. During the meeting the department was confirmed as an accredited agency and was presented with a plaque by William Kelly, Chairman of the Commission.
Detective Corporal Leidy, who was assigned the task of being the department’s Accreditation Manager in 2009, and in addition to completing his normal duties and assignments, focused on completing the required tasks to reach the assessment stage of the accreditation process. A mock assessment was completed in October 2013, with final assessment occurring in late November.
With this award the Lower Saucon Township Police Department joins five other municipalities in Northampton County, and over ninety departments statewide, who have previously obtained accredited status. The status is valid for three years from the date of the assessment, at which time a re-assessment is conducted.
Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate and improve their overall performance. The cornerstone of this strategy lies in the promulgation of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Participating administrators then conduct a thorough analysis to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of independent professionals is assigned to verify that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented. The process culminates with a decision by an authoritative body that the institution is worthy of accreditation.
The Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was designed and developed by professional law enforcement executives to provide a reasonable and cost effective plan for the professionalization of law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth. The underlying philosophy of the program is to have a user-friendly undertaking for the departments that will result in a “success” oriented outcome.
There are numerous benefits to achieving an accredited status:
- Establishes a credible framework for evaluating agency practices and procedures
- Reduces agency risk and exposure to lawsuits
- Decreases some liability insurance expenditures
- Improves law enforcement – community relations
- Increases employee input, interaction and confidence in the agency
- Enlarges the outlook and viewpoints of managers, officers and employees
- Identifies and highlights the capabilities and competence of the agency
- Furnishes a solid foundation for the agency to build upon for further progress
- Provides reliable methods to improve essential management procedures
- Extends agency accountability to the public and elected officials
- Enhances planning and innovative activities by all agency personnel
- Develops improved methods for providing services to the community
- Encourages problem-solving activities within the agency
For more information, please see www.pachiefs.org/accreditation.com.
Description / History of Department
The Lower Saucon Township Police Department consists of twenty-three employees and one K-9. Fifteen are full-time police officers, six are part-time police officers, and we have two full time civilian support staff. The department protects and serves over 10,000 citizens living in an approximately 25 square mile area which is primarily residential/rural, with several shopping centers and the Saucon Valley School District campus; and thousands of motorists who travel through our area every day. The department headquarters is located adjacent to the main Town Hall building, which was completed in 2002, and has many features common to the modern police building, including administrative offices, property/evidence processing and storage, squad room, armory, training room, interview rooms, holding cells, locker rooms, weight training/cardiovascular facilities, and a restricted parking compound with carport for our patrol fleet.
Records dating back to 1930 indicate that the Township Police Department of that time was comprised of 35 volunteers. They met at various volunteer fire companies as there was no police headquarters, and the chief, who received an annual salary of one dollar, had his office in the kitchen of his home. The force grew to 55 in the early 1940's, but gradually the numbers declined. A paid part-time force of three men was established in 1953, but they still were without headquarters. They held their meetings at the chief's house and, as volunteers did, used their private vehicles. The paid force grew in number, full-time positions were created, and a headquarters with a communications center was established in the old Town Hall, where it remained until 2002.
Mission Statement and Mission Objectives
The Mission of the Lower Saucon Township Police Department is to preserve the public peace and order, to protect life and property, and to enforce the laws of the United States, the Commonwealth, and the Township; to stimulate public awareness of law enforcement programs through the conduct of safety and crime prevention educational activities and community relations programs; and to provide prompt and courteous assistance to the public.
In order to accomplish this mission, we shall perform at least the following functions:
- Provide diligent police presence and availability throughout the Township on a 24-hour basis.
- Respond to reports of criminal events, requests for police service, and any Township occurrence in which police may be of assistance, in a timely manner.
- Perform to the utmost of our abilities, in a courteous manner, doing all we can do toward the thorough and efficient resolution of all manner of incident brought to our attention.
- Maintain responsive contact and communication with complainants, witnesses, and victims.
- Encourage community compliance with laws and participation in public safety through crime prevention and education programs, community relations activities, and in setting examples for the public to follow.