AG Shapiro Accepts Accreditation For OAG & Statewide Agent Training Academy

July 19, 2021 | Topic: OAG News

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today accepted the accreditation of the Office of Attorney General (OAG) and its Commonwealth Investigator Training Program by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. The OAG’s accreditation was lost under a previous administration, and recently regained under AG Shapiro’s leadership. The office collaborated with other state agencies to develop professional, standardized training for all investigators statewide. This training is available to both criminal and civil investigators.

“We launched this collaborative training academy in 2019, and it is open to all law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth — including members of Pennsylvania’s police departments. Accreditation is a goal that I set my first days in office, and is one part of our years-long effort to regain trust in the office and build new bridges with departments and agencies all over the state,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Accreditation has made our work better, and it is just the beginning steps to make us a stronger resource and a stronger partner for all of our partners in law enforcement.”

The accreditation program requires agencies to commit to up to 136 policies and standards of best practice for law enforcement throughout the Commonwealth, including policies that ensure:

  • The Office of Attorney General does not use bias-based policing;
  • Updated, regular training for agents interacting with someone having a mental health crisis; and
  • Compliance with the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act, which requires agencies to provide information on the rights and services available for crime victims. This information must be provided in writing within 24 hours of arrest or filing of a complaint.

The Office of Attorney General was able to be accredited after the Pennsylvania legislature granted funding for the Commonwealth Investigator Training Program in 2018. The certification of the training academy is a requirement for accreditation.

The acceptance of accreditation by the Office of Attorney General creates a formal commitment that the Office and training academy are maintaining the standards set forth by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.

“It’s unprecedented because we train agents for both the civil and criminal work that our office takes on statewide,” concluded Attorney General Shapiro. “We have been given a unique set of responsibilities in the Office of Attorney General, and now we have the unique training needed to meet the mission.”

The academy was launched in 2019 and was formally accredited in March 2021. Classes of agents, which can include up to 45 trainees , complete training and graduate twice per year. The academy trains agents for statewide civil and criminal work. This service is available to all agencies in the Commonwealth. The training academy is an unprecedented program in Pennsylvania.

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