ELPD earns well-deserved accreditation

THE VILLAGE OF ELKHART LAKE boasts a fine police department for a municipality of less than 1,000 people – and now they’ve got outside verification.

The department recently completed a challenging and comprehensive accreditation process under the aegis of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group.

The WILEAG provides independent verification that law enforcement agencies which pass the stringent accreditation process meet 39 standards that cover operations and management.

According to the WILEAG, the standards are focused on:

• Key federal and state statutory mandates related to law enforcement.

• Requirements arising from case law.

• Inherent issues related to high risk law enforcement operations.

• Sensitive areas involving community relations.

The accreditation is available to law enforcement agencies in cities, towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000, as well as to sheriff’s departments in counties with a population of 30,000 or less.

As Elkhart Lake Police Chief Michael Meeusen told the Elkhart Lake Village Board in his annual report last week, his department is the first one in the county to gain this coveted accreditation.

“We’re the only police department in Sheboygan County to be accredited. I’m pretty proud of that fact. It took a lot of work but it was well worth it. It gives the community an extra sense that we’re doing things right,” Meeusen stated.

That extra sense should be a comfort for every resident and business in the village.

Elkhart Lake is unique in having a full-time police department, a rarity in a village of its size. To have an accredited department is even more unique.

It’s a credit to the village, to Meeusen and to his department.

The challenges facing a law enforcement agency in a resort community like Elkhart Lake are especially daunting, but the department has proven more than equal to them in the past and should continue to in the future.

Special events, whether in the village or at nearby

Road America, can swell the population of the little village to many times its usual size. They add the challenges of crowd control, event management and traffic, among others, to the usual challenges police departments face.

The number of popular resorts in the village bring a large number of visitors to the village throughout the year and even more so in the summer. These visitors create challenges for maintaining peace and order in the village. The department has met the task and continued to maintain peace and order, helping to make Elkhart Lake a great experience for visitors and a place they want to return to time and again.

All in all, the Elkhart Lake Police Department has met and continues to meet all the demands of serving a small community with a big tourism industry. The WILEAG accreditation affirms the professionalism and dedication of the department.

It’s a service the Elkhart Lake Police Department has provided competently, capably and professionally for many, many years, with a level of dedication and service to match many, many larger departments.

The WILEAG accreditation simply confirms what people in Elkhart Lake have known for years – they have a first-class, topnotch police department, one that’s yet another asset for the village.

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