Westford Police Department Approved for Accreditation; Policies and Procedures Reviewed

Police Chief Thomas McEnaney addressed select board members on Sept. 8, ensuring them the Westford police force does not use the type of restraints allegedly applied this summer on George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“We haven’t had an officer involved shooting since 1973,” McEnaney said, “so 47 years ago was the last time a Westford police officer was involved in a police shooting.”

Floyd died while in police custody, boosting the national Black Lives Matter movement as rallies were held across the country.

Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin allegedly blocked Floyd from breathing by applying pressure with his knee to Floyd’s neck area. Floyd was lying on the ground and restrained.

McEnaney said his department underwent an accreditation process in February as it has done since 2005, and he learned in June that his staff had successfully completed the process.

The accreditation process is “a review of policies and procedures,” he said. “They…make sure that we have the best practices in play.”

McEnaney said his department had more than 326 accreditation standards reviewed and the department members exceeded the standards for accreditation by 344.

“We are very proud of that accomplishment,” McEnaney said.

The staff members also reviewed policies for handling mental illness, sexual harassment and anti-harassment, gender profiling, and biased-based policing.

To watch the entire select board meeting visit westfordcat.org.