BALDWIN (KDKA) — Police departments across the country have been under the microscope after a string of shootings.
But one local department is setting a high standard for its officers, and is now celebrating an international achievement.
Given the challenges law enforcement and community groups are up against, the applause at Tuesday night’s ceremony was a welcome sound.
Baldwin Borough being recognized for what U.S. Attorney David Hickton calls the gold standard in policing.
“I think during these difficult times, we need leadership,” said Hickton.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies has singled out only 15 departments in the last 30 years for this international award.
“In this day and age, it’s important that police officers are consistent, and what this does is enforces consistency so we’re all doing the same thing,” said Baldwin Borough Officer Keith Hagen.
In cities like Dallas, Milwaukee and Chicago, race relations and community trust are being tested like never before.
But Hickton wants people to know that departments like Baldwin are still striving for accountability and excellence.
“It allows for transparency and puts us in a place we all need to get to where the community and police are working together, where there’s great trust in the community and we can build communities,” he said.
“They want to know what kind of relationship you have with your community. We have one of the largest housing complexes in the state, and we have a very good relationship with our minority and ethnic communities there,” said Baldwin Borough Police Chief Michael Scott. “We want to demonstrate that we do adhere to best policies and practices.”
The Findlay Township Police Department, also in Allegheny County, has also received this honor.