Aberdeen Police Department accredited by statewide organization

The process took more than a year to complete.

After a process lasting more than a year, the Aberdeen Police Department has been accredited by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

The process, which inspects departments to make sure it’s operating according to a set of best practices and standards for law enforcement agencies, was initiated in January of 2021, under the direction of Chief Steve Shumate, who has since retired.

“It was a lot of work,” said Chief Dale Green in a previous interview with the Daily World. “Becky Ellis, our administrative coordinator, did amazing work.”

APD is one of 67 Washington law enforcement organizations, or approximately a quarter of the agencies in the state, that is currently WASPC accredited, according to the news release. Green thanked Shumate for having the foresight to start the process, which many departments are reluctant to undertake due to the onerous nature of providing evidence that their department is up to the WASPC’s 143 individual categories for evaluation.

“Effectively our policies and practices have been consistent for many years,” Green said. “We just had to put it on paper.”

APD joins the Hoquiam Police Department and the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office in accreditation, Green said. APD now has four years before they’re required to get reaccredited, according to the WASPC website.

“The Aberdeen Police Department has worked hard to obtain this achievement,” said WASPC Executive Director Steven Strachan in the news release. “The community should be proud of local law enforcement for taking direct and tangible steps to earn the public’s confidence in their operations.”

The process, initiated under Shumate, was at first the responsibility of Lt. C.J. Chastain until his retirement in spring of 2022, Green said, thanking Chastain for his hard work getting the process rolling. Ellis took over the role, assuming the primary responsibility for shepherding the process to its conclusion with the final inspection of the station in September.

“We are very proud of the work our people have accomplished and this is a well deserved thank you for all they do,” the department said in the release.

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@thedailyworld.com.