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Mont Belvieu Police Chief Virgil Blasdel accepts a certificate of recognition for completing the Law Enforcement Recognition Program. From left are City Manager Nathan Watkins, Webster Asst. Chief Pete Bacon, Blasdel and Lt. Steve Ferguson. (Mont Belvieu photo)

The Mont Belvieu Police Department is one of just 158 law enforcement agencies in Texas to be recognized by the Texas Police Chief’s Association Foundation. 

During Monday night’s city council meeting, Pete Bacon, assistant chief of the Webster Police Department, presented Chief Virgil Blasdel with a certificate of completion for the Law Enforcement Recognition Program that took over two years to achieve. 

“Credit goes to Lt. (Steve) Ferguson, he was my program manager and he did a lot of hard work,” Blasdel said to city council. “It took us a while, but the department stood behind us. I also want to think (City Manager) Nathan Watkins for standing behind us.” 

To achieve this level of professional excellence, the Mont Belvieu Police Department complied with 166 Texas law enforcement best practices, which were developed to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service, the reduction of risk and the protection of individual’s rights.  

“The recognition program ensures this city council and the citizens of Mont Belvieu that its agency is operating in a manner that reflects the current and best practices in Texas law enforcement,” Bacon said. “It means this agency is one of the very best in the state.” 

To comply with best practices, the Mont Belvieu Police Department had to do a complete audit of all its policies, procedures, training and operations to meet the standards set by the Texas Police Chief Association. 

The voluntary accreditation program addresses a full range of operations such as the use of force; vehicle pursuit; officer training; arrest, search and seizure; and property and evidence management, to name a few. 

After an onsite inspection that included interviewing staff, inspection of facilities and operations and rides with field officers, the report was sent to the recognition committee. The nine serving police chiefs from across the state that make up the committee then unanimously approved Mont Belvieu’s recognition. 

“During the process, the Mont Belvieu Police Department exceeded all standards,” Bacon said. “The real value in the program is in the process they went through to obtain it.” 

With the recognition, the Mont Belvieu Police Department must send annual reports to prove it continues to comply with standards set by the program. 

In four years, the Mont Belvieu Police Department will be inspected once again. 

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