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Bunker Hill Community College Department of Public Safety and Campus Police Awarded Accreditation by Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Becomes second Massachusetts Community College Police Department to receive law enforcement’s highest professional certification 

Bunker Hill Community College’s (BHCC) Department of Public Safety and Campus Police was awarded Full Accreditation by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) on June 21, making the Department one of two community college police and public safety departments statewide to receive the highest level of professional certification in the Commonwealth. 

“I am incredibly proud of the Bunker Hill Community College Department of Public Safety and Campus Police and I congratulate its leaders, officers, and staff on achieving accreditation,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “We believe in the importance of industry-wide standards, transparency, and trust as we ensure the optimal teaching and learning environment for all. Participating in accreditation is our promise to continuous improvement. We hope to lead with innovation and full community engagement as we uphold the MPAC accreditation standards.” 

As part of the accreditation, the Department served as the lead agency in an MPAC program change that allows police and public safety departments to complete full accreditation and skip the first tier of certification. Participation in this pilot program required the Department to document, modify or update more than 70 policies to conform to some 300 professional standards required by the commission, ranging from officer uniform requirements and vehicle maintenance to Use of Force and Bias-Free Policing. 

“It was an honor to be allowed to spearhead this program change and to have earned our Department’s accreditation in a way that will open the door for other law enforcement agencies to achieve this important professional milestone in a new way,” said Executive Director and Chief of Police Robert A. Barrows. “Our Department is always striving for new and better ways to serve the students, staff and faculty of Bunker Hill Community College and hope that this accreditation will continue to strengthen the partnership and trust of the community we serve.” 

In a speech at a ceremony celebrating the Department’s accreditation, Barrows thanked his team and the leadership of the College for their work and support: “I especially would like to thank BHCC Deputy Chief Matthew Shedden and Staff Associate Monica Anand for their work throughout the accreditation process—they, along with other department members were instrumental and worked on this at every chance they had and I am so grateful to them for getting us to where we are today.” Barrows said. “I would also like to thank President Eddinger and Vice President of Administration and Finance John Pitcher. When you have an administration that believes in you and trusts you it opens so many great opportunities to grow and because of that we are a department that continues to grow in the most positive ways.” 

MPAC is responsible for certifying and accrediting all police departments in the Commonwealth. To be accredited, departments must conform to established standards on best practices for police agencies. The accreditation process provides a professional-related norm for an agency to evaluate performance, promotes accountability among agency personnel, enhances the agency’s reputation, requires agencies to ensure all policies and procedures are in line with the comprehensive and uniform set of directives, and, most importantly, promotes staff and public confidence in the agency while improving the delivery of law enforcement services to the community. 

“As executive director at the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC), I commend the efforts of the Bunker Hill Community College Police Department in achieving its initial accreditation award,” said MPAC Executive Director Rick Rathbun. “The agency has been part of MPAC’s Program since 2019 and has worked diligently to meet all of the program’s requirements for achieving accreditation. They adhere to the law enforcement profession’s best practices and comply with our program’s standards as a professional 21st-century police department.” 

“The Bunker Hill Community College Police Department was the first agency to take advantage of a program change for an agency completing its first assessment,” Rathbun continued. “After completing the self-assessment phase of our program, the agency demonstrated its readiness for a review by completing a full accreditation on-site assessment. The agency was able to skip our first tier of certification and successfully proved compliance with 298 of our standards at the accreditation level.” 

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