Harrisburg, Pa. - Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro has been keeping himself, and his office, busy. The most recent recognition for the attorney general's office comes from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
Shapiro accepted the accreditation of the Office of Attorney General, and its Commonwealth Investigator Training Program, by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
The accreditation from the Chiefs of Police Association was lost under a previous administration, and recently regained under Shapiro, according to his office.
The office collaborated with other state agencies to develop professional, standardized training for all investigators statewide. This training is available to both criminal and civil investigators.
“We launched this collaborative training academy in 2019, and it is open to all law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth — including members of Pennsylvania’s police departments," Shapiro said.
The accreditation program requires agencies to commit to up to 136 policies and standards of best practice for law enforcement throughout the Commonwealth, including policies that ensure:
The Office of Attorney General does not use bias-based policing;
Updated, regular training for agents interacting with someone having a mental health crisis; and
Compliance with the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act, which requires agencies to provide information on the rights and services available for crime victims. This information must be provided in writing within 24 hours of arrest or filing of a complaint.
Shapiro said, "Accreditation is a goal that I set my first days in office, and is one part of our years-long effort to regain trust in the office and build new bridges with departments and agencies all over the state."
The attorney general's office was able to be accredited after the state legislature granted funding for the Commonwealth Investigator Training Program in 2018. The certification of the training academy is a requirement for accreditation.
“Being accredited has made our work better, and it is just the beginning steps to make us a stronger resource and a stronger partner for all of our partners in law enforcement," added the attorney general.
According to the office, acceptance of accreditation by Shapiro's office creates a formal commitment that the Office and training academy are maintaining the standards set forth by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.
The academy was launched in 2019 and was formally accredited in March 2021. Classes of agents, which can include up to 45 trainees , complete training and graduate twice per year. The academy trains agents for statewide civil and criminal work. This service is available to all agencies in the Commonwealth.
“It's unprecedented because we train agents for both the civil and criminal work that our office takes on statewide,” concluded Shapiro. “We have been given a unique set of responsibilities in the Office of Attorney General, and now we have the unique training needed to meet the mission.”
The training academy is an unprecedented program in Pennsylvania, said a statement by the attorney general's office.