Fenwick To Revise Police Policy Manual

FENWICK ISLAND – The Fenwick Island Police Department will create a new policies and procedures manual with the help of a national company.

At its most recent meeting, the Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously to use Lexipol – a national policy development company specializing in public safety – to update the Fenwick Island Police Department’s procedures manual. Chief Michael Morrissey the company’s proposal also includes a training component for the department’s police officers.

“All in all, with this package, I think it will professionalize our police department and make us one of the best training train departments in the area,” he said.

In a meeting in October, Morrissey told the council a draft of the police department’s procedures manual had been worked on for several years but had been “cut and pasted” from other police department manuals. To ensure the department was up to date with its procedures, he recommended the town contract with Lexipol to create a new manual.

Back on the agenda this month, Morrissey recommended the town council approve a $22,000 contract with Lexipol. He noted that other municipalities, including Ocean View and South Bethany, had used the company to update their police manuals.

“From what I understand, South Bethany is in the same position we are, updating their policy manual from the beginning to the end,” he said.

Morrissey said an updated manual will help the department receive reaccreditation. He added that Lexipol would also work with the police department to ensure procedures are being implemented. He said a training component would focus on topics such as use of force, car chases and more.

“Our officers will be receiving training, directed by me, in topics such as stops and bias-related training,” he said. “This training will be in four-hour blocks it’ll be it’ll be given over the Internet and a test will be given at the end to ensure they watch the videos did the training. This will help us achieve our 16 hours of mid-service training per year and plus we we can extend that to make sure our officers are getting more than the minimum standards.”

After further discussion, the council voted 7-0 to approve the Lexipol contract.

“I think it’s absolutely a best practice for police,” said Mayor Natalie Magdeburger.

The council this month also approved a request from the police department to upgrade its Tasers. Morrissey said the town has entered into an agreement with Axon to phase in the upgrades over the next five years.

“We’re paying for part of this cost with state grants,” he explained. “What I’m requesting this month is the January payment, since we were just getting into this agreement, of $5,100.”

After further discussion, the council agreed to move forward with the request.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.