Montgomery Township Police is the best of the best—it has just been officially reaccredited for a third time.

At Monday night’s supervisors meeting, Chief Scott Bendig announced that, on April 2, the department was reaccredited for a third time by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC) under the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

The accreditation puts the department at the highest level of police professional development and procedure.

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The Certificate of Law Enforcement Accreditation was presented to the department, and township, Monday night by Abington Township Police Chief William J. Kelly, who also serves as the PLEAC chairman and as the first Vice President of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. Officer Brian Gerrard is a key figure in preparing for and assisting with the on-site assessments of the department.

“I’m sure you’ve heard many municipalities say ‘Our police department is the very best,’ and you probably ask yourself, ‘I wonder what criteria they think about when they’re saying that?’ Because, without criteria, we wouldn’t know,” Kelly said.

Kelly said Montgomery Township Police’s reaccreditation puts them in the top 11/2 percent in Pennsylvania.

“It shows a standard of quality … They volunteered to put themselves to the test and prove their quality,” Kelly said. “Out of 1,200 police departments in Pennsylvania, only 350 have entered the accreditation process. Out of those, only 90 actually achieved it. Only a small number have achieved reaccreditation three times like Montgomery Township Police Department. That’s something we can all be very certainly proud of.”

In 2004, the department became the 18th police department in Pennsylvania to receive such an honor.

“Since achieving accreditation in 2004, the police department has undergone reaccreditation in 2007, and again in 2011,” Bendig said.

On Jan. 13 and Jan. 14, assessors from the program performed an on-site reaccreditation assessment of the police department, he said.

“The accreditation process involves a development and incorporation of best police practices and procedures in over 300 identified benchmarks targeted to improve police department performance,” Bendig said.

Montgomery Township Police isn’t the sole accredited police department in Montgomery County—Towamencin Township Police and Upper Gwynedd Township Police also share that honor, as do police departments in Norristown, Horsham Township, Franconia Township, Plymouth Township, Whitemarsh Township, Upper Dublin Township, Jenkintown Borough, Lower Providence Township, Lower Merion Township, West Norriton Township and Cheltenham Township.