DOJ Certification

The United States Attorney General has appointed the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association to be the” Independent Credentialing Body” for the Commonwealth under the standards for certification on safe policing for safe communities.

As the Commonwealth credentialing body, the Association will be processing requests from any law enforcement ageny who would like to become certified in this program.

The certification program is a basic one. The first thing to know is the program is NOT mandatory.  Only agencies who apply for discretionary federal grant funds will need to be certified.  If you apply for a federal grant of any kind, you should be certified.  If you are unsure if you will need to be certified, get certified, just in case.

If you want to become a certified agency, click here for a template.  Be sure to complete the appropriate information and include the ORI & EIN numbers, sign the form (it must be your handwritten signature) and print the form on your letterhead. These are DOJ requirements.  If you fail to comply with these requirements, the letter will be returned to you.

There is some confusion over which template you should use in this request.  A few agencies, including the DOJ and MPOETC, are sending out or posting templates that we are NOT accepting.  The proper template is imbedded in this document.  This is the ONLY template we will accept.  If you have a template that looks different than the attached, do not send it to us, it will be sent back.

This template letter asks you to do a self-assessment of your agency’s use of force policy.  There are 2 mandatory conditions that you must have in your policy: 

                        The policy must adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

                        Prohibit the use of choke holds, except where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.

You will also see 12 discretionary conditions with check blocks. When completing the form, check the blocks that apply to you. I f you cannot check all the blocks, it is not a problem and will not negatively affect your request for certification.

When we receive a correctly completed letter, you will receive a confirmation letter from PCPA indicating you have been certified.  We will then place your agency information on a spreadsheet and forward it to the DOJ.

Click here to review the DOJ’s outline of the entire program which includes some definitions that may help if you need to make any policy changes. 

You should email your completed form to [email protected] or you can also fax it to (717) 236-0226.