Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Starting a New Police Department?

New police departments are started every year. Sometimes it's because a previously unincorporated county area incorporated as a municipality. In other instances it's simply because a municipality was dissatisfied with the level of performance or lack of value it was receiving from contracting with a county sheriff. Whatever reasons a municipality has for considering starting its own department, the decision-making process has to be painstakingly thorough and diligent.

The US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), has prepared a 64-page guide to help communities wade through the decision-making process. The guide is entitled Guidelines for Starting and Operating a New Police Department.

Though the guide is clearly intended to help in the startup process, a little "reverse engineering reading" will help those communities who already have police departments learn how to better evaluate their existing departments.

Here are some other COPS guidelines useful for starting new departments or upgrading existing ones:


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