It’s now official: The McKinney Police Department has dual accreditation.

The city this week announced MPD has received national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), the culmination of a 3-year process.

The department already held recognized status through the Texas Police Chief’s Association, and is now just the third law enforcement agency in Texas to gain state and national accreditation.

It belongs to a group of about 1,200 out of over 18,000 agencies across the U.S.

“Obtaining accreditation by CALEA says our policies and practices follow the latest thinking and best practices in law enforcement,” said Police Chief Greg Conley, who started with MPD in the middle of its national pursuit.

He called the latest accreditation a “stamp of excellence” that at least lets outside entities know MPD is meeting professional standards. In fact, the department was evaluated on 363 of them – CALEA standards are considered “benchmarks for professional law enforcement agencies,” according to city staff.

CALEA sent representatives to McKinney this summer to talk with community members about MPD’s policing. They held a public input meeting in early June and accepted residents’ phone calls to gather direct feedback.

“We met every standard,” Conley noted. “They didn’t find any deficiencies.”

City Manager Paul Grimes added that MPD is “full of dedicated, hardworking individuals who are committed to providing for the safety of our citizens” and called the dual accreditation the “gold standard of professionalism” in law enforcement.

CALEA reviewed the onsite assessors’ full report before essentially agreeing with Conley’s take and deciding MPD was worthy of accreditation.

“It’s a lot of work,” Conley explained. “We’ve been on this road for about three years now.”

The chief credited Josel Harrison, the department’s accreditation and reporting administrator, as a major reason for MPD’s dual status. She’s been working toward the national nod from the start.

The accreditation remains for four years, then MPD must get reaccredited. But, it must comply with ongoing reporting requirements throughout those four years.

“It doesn’t mean we’re perfect,” Conley said. “There’s always room for improvement.”