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Morrow PD overcomes challenges, gets recertification

Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty (left) listens as Lou Deckmar, president of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, praises the department for gaining re-certification Tuesday. Deckmar is a former Morrow police chief and now leads the LaGrange Police Department.

Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty (left) listens as Lou Deckmar, president of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, praises the department for gaining re-certification Tuesday. Deckmar is a former Morrow police chief and now leads the LaGrange Police Department.

— The Morrow Police Department has overcome issues that plagued it in recent years and has won recertification from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

As he formally presented the recertification plaque, LaGrange police Chief Lou Deckmar praised the police department for being able to move forward from the November 2011 arrest of former Chief Jeff Baker for DUI.

Baker resigned following the arrest and Deckmar — himself a former Morrow police chief — saw the committee tasked with recommending a new chief. Deckmar is also president of a the accrediting commission.

“The Morrow Police Department’s assessment report reflects and describes an agency committed to community policing and sound law enforcement services,” said Deckmar.

Police Chief Chris Leighty said the 31-employee department has been certified by the commission since 2011 and must undergo the recertification process every year. This time marked the fourth recertification.

This recertification go around was particularly significant because officers had to undergo the evaluation process right after Baker’s arrest by his own officers.

While Leighty said the circumstances made it a tough time in the department, he praised Capt. Greg Tatroe for leading the department in the interim and Capt. James Callaway for keeping the recertification on track.

The department met all 108 standards looked at during the process, he said.

“It was tough times and a hard thing for a community to go through,” Leighty said. “To have all of these guys stand on their own after having to make the arrest of their own chief and be prepared for the recertification process was a lot of work.”