Professionalism and Trust Through Best Practice Standards




Sigler, Dale

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Those in law enforcement seek to be viewed as being part of a profession rather than an occupation. Many officers would refer to themselves as a law enforcement professionals. However, a vast majority of agencies choose not to operate in a way that is consistent with industry best standards. Out of the 2,696 law enforcement agencies in Texas, only 146 agencies have reached the “Recognized” status through the Texas Police Chief’s Association Best Practices (TPCA BP) Program (TPCAF, n.d.). The TPCA BP program was developed to establish standards that reduced risk, improve management and operations, and improve citizen protection and officer safety. The public expects law enforcement agencies to employ officers equipped with a higher level of skills and knowledge to effectively and efficiently handle and resolve today’s complex issues. The public expects agencies to have in place policies and practices that reflect the community’s values. Policies should be implemented consistently and fair to establish trust and legitimacy among those they protect and serve. Adhering to best practices could be the first step in establishing; repairing; or enhancing the relationship, the agency, and their community. Complying with TPCA BP standards would help professionalize the industry and help build a better relationship with the community it serves; therefore, Texas law enforcement agencies should comply with TPCA BP standards.


Texas Police Chiefs Association, Police--Accreditation, Police Standards