SYCAMORE – Sycamore Police Chief Don Thomas wanted his department to be recognized by the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program before he retired.
The Sycamore Police Department was honored Monday during the City Council meeting for meeting ILEAP’s 71 standards based on their policies and regulations.
Thomas is retiring Jan. 2 and wanted the department to be honored before the new police chief, who has yet to be selected, begins leading the department.
“If you look at our rules and how we do business, we’re doing it as professionally as possible,” Thomas said. “What this means to us is an independent audit was done, and we were found to be professionally working with the best practices in policing, even though we’re a small agency.”
Thomas said Sycamore police are the 17th agency in the state and the first in DeKalb County with the honor. The process began earlier this year, when two ILEAP assessors came to Sycamore for two days in June to interview and ride with officers. The assessors also reviewed the department’s written policies and procedures.
Sycamore police officer Dana Allen was appointed the department’s accreditation manager. She compiled a report of more than 750 pages documenting Sycamore police policies, which she sent to ILEAP in May.
Now that they are accredited, every year Sycamore police will have to turn in an annual report that tells ILEAP if they’ve changed any rules or regulations, Thomas said.
Every four years, a different assessment group will revisit Sycamore to make sure police still follow rules.
Thomas said the department learned they were successful in achieving the accreditation Aug. 28, but it wasn’t until Monday that Elwood Police Chief Fred Hayes, who is also president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, presented Sycamore police officers with a plaque.
“It’s a very distinct honor,” Hayes said during the presentation, “to present this to the Sycamore city and to the Sycamore Police Department.”