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Argyle police earn distinction

We have the utmost respect for the law enforcement agencies that are on watch to keep Denton County residents safe and protect their property, and we are thankful for the outstanding job they do.

But we are always impressed when an agency chooses to go above and beyond, to strive to improve its efficiency and ensure its standards reflect a high level of professionalism.

Thus, we commend the Argyle Police Department for receiving “recognized” status from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Recognition Program, a hard-earned distinction that took the department 18 months to attain.

When the news was announced recently, the seven-member Argyle Police Department became just the fourth agency in Denton County to earn recognized status, officials said.

The designation comes after an agency has demonstrated its compliance with all 165 best-business practices for law enforcement recommended by the Texas Police Chiefs Association, and Argyle Police Chief William Tackett said this ensures each agency is following the most efficient protocols.

Tackett said the program covered any and all aspects of the department and the way it operates. The department also went through a series of evaluations, including a two-day on-site review by Monty Stanley, a retired assistant police chief in Carrollton and Muleshoe Police Department Chief Roy Rice.

“It’s great to be reviewed by your peers,” Tackett said. “Because it’s one thing to have policy that you are ‘gonna do’ and have policy you are held accountable to follow through with.”

The process is completely voluntary, but participation requires a significant commitment — agencies must be careful to stay on track so they can complete the program within two years of signing up. Once you start, you quickly learn the program is definitively not for the faint of heart, Tackett said.

Tackett said Capt. Temple Cottle was in charge of overseeing the process to make sure everything was completed in an efficient and timely manner.

Obtaining the hard-earned status isn’t just a one-time process, but something the department will now have to maintain. Annual reports will have to be sent to the association and the department will be required to repeat the entire compliance process every four years to maintain the recognized status. In addition, all officers will have additional training requirements to help maintain the status.

It costs $350 annually for a department with fewer than 10 officers, in addition to $750 to $1,000 for the onsite visits, which will occur every four years. In the long run, the benefits will far outweigh the cost, Tackett said.

“It’s all just about reducing the risk and costs of the department, while making sure we hold the highest standard of professionalism to better serve the citizens of Argyle,” he said.

Of the 2,653 agencies registered with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, Highland Village, Roanoke, Corinth and now Argyle are the only Denton County-recognized agencies from the TPCA Best Practices Recognition Program.

A framed certificate will be presented to the department at 6 p.m. Nov. 19, during a City Council meeting at Town Hall, 308 Denton St.

We offer our sincere congratulations to the department for this achievement, and we know we join all residents of Argyle in thanking these fine officers for their commitment to service and professionalism.