Bellingham, (WA) The Bellingham Police Department was awarded Law Enforcement Accreditation by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) as WASPC's Spring Conference and Exposition in Kennewick Washington on May 25, 2016. Bellingham Police initiated the accreditation process in 2014 and has worked over the past two years to meet the policy and practice requirements to satisfy compliance with WASPC's 138 standards. “This is a significant accomplishment and reflects our desire to be at the forefront of professional policing practices and programming in the State of Washington. I am very proud of our department and the men and women whose hard work and dedication have made this recognition possible,” said Bellingham Police Chief Clifford Cook.
The WASPC Accreditation program was started over 36 years ago and was one of the first programs of its kind in America. Many other state and national accrediting organizations have modeled their programs after WASPC. The WASPC program requires agency compliance with both operational and administrative standards. Currently there are 56 police agencies in Washington that are recognized with WASPC Accreditation; 44 of the agencies are city/municipal police agencies, 10 are county sheriff offices and two are state agencies.