Riverhead Police might soon get seal of approval

The Riverhead Town Police Department appears to be on the verge of gaining accreditation from the state Division of Criminal Justice.

That means that the department would receive certification for having met and maintained 132 standards and procedures, such as training in various areas, according to Chief David Hegermiller.

The designation helps in court cases, where defense attorneys in a case may otherwise try to point to an officer’s lack of training, and it helps gain lower liability insurance rates, he said.

Dan Hickey and Russell O’Dowd, assessors with the Division of Criminal Justice, say they have been examining the town department and are planning to recommend that it be accredited.

“This is one of the best of the 12 departments we are doing now,” Mr. O’Dowd told the Town Board Thursday. “This department is above reproach.”

Once a department attains accreditation, it must maintain it annually, the chief said.

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