Waxahachie Police Department honored for best practices

WPD one of 181 in state to receive distinction

Chris Roark
Waxahachie Daily Light

The Waxahachie Police Department was recognized Monday for meeting all standards in the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Program.

The Texas Police Chiefs Association includes about 1,500 professional police chiefs from across the state. Several years ago, the association created an accreditation program for Texas law enforcement agencies that maintain compliance in a variety of best practices areas over a four-year period.

Rob Severance of the Texas Police Chiefs Association, left, presents Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby, center, with a certificate for the department meeting all standards in the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Program.

This is a voluntary program where agencies must meet or exceed 170 difficult standards based on Texas law, Texas court decisions and contemporary best practices per Texas Police Chiefs Association standards, said Rob Severance of the Texas Police Chiefs Association. These standards address various operations including use of force, protecting citizen rights, property and evidence management, vehicle pursuits, and patrol and investigation operations.

“This program has become the new gold standard for professional law enforcement in Texas,” said Severance, police chief for the Cleburne Police Department. “And agencies across the state are working diligently to meet these requirements.”

The Waxahachie Police Department first achieved its recognized status 12 years ago. It conducted an audit of all of its policies, procedures and operations.

Each year, the department submits a report to ensure it continues to meet the standards.

In July, two trained assessors, police chiefs and command officers from across Texas assessed the department. The process included operations inspection and staff interviews. The report was sent to the Recognition Committee made up of nine police chiefs who reviewed the assessment and unanimously recommended “Recognized” status.

“During this process the Waxahachie Police Department once again proved that it meets or exceeds the best practices for professional law enforcement in Texas,” Severance said.

He said out of 2,700 law enforcement agencies in Texas, only 181 have achieved “Recognized” status, and fewer than that have been re-recognized.

“The recognition program ensures both city management and the citizens of Waxahachie that their police department is operating in a manner that reflects the current best practices of Texas law enforcement,” Severance said. “It means your police department is continually striving for professional excellence. It means your police department is one of the very best in this state.”

Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby accepted the certificate of re-recognition.

“I’m proud to be chief of such a great department,” he said. “But this is not my accomplishment. This is an accomplishment of the entire department. It’s an effort by every single employee of the department.”

Goolsby gave special thanks to Lt. Marcus Brown, who was in charge of the accreditation process for WPD this year.