The borough will spend about $47,000 over the next two years to prepare the police department for accreditation from the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. About 136 out of 1,100 departments have received such an award.
"This has credibility. It says we've been evaluated by a third party," Borough Manager Mark Stivers said after the meeting.
The borough will hire The Rodgers Group, based in New Jersey. That company already works with police departments in East and West Hempfield. The company will ensure that Columbia's police department policies and practices meet agency requirements and will recommend best practices, such as becoming more transparent or storing weapons in the safest way possible. The process should take between 12-18 months and would help ward off legal challenges, Stivers said.