We are fortunate to enjoy superior safety services in this community, but it's no fluke that this is the case.

First and foremost, residents have always placed a high level of importance on the provision of quality police, fire and emergency medical services when asked in our community surveys. As a result, the city has made a conscious effort to ensure our police and fire divisions have the resources and training they need to maintain their place among the best safety service providers in the region.

For both divisions, much effort is required to keep up with evolving challenges and opportunities that come with providing relevant, first-rate safety services. For our police division, criminal activities evolve with societal and technological changes, so it's important that the division stay abreast with the community's changing needs.

I am pleased to report that the department's hard work has paid off once again and it has earned reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. This represents the ninth consecutive time this mark of distinction has been attained.

National certification from CALEA -- which is bestowed for a period of three years -- provides an invaluable measurement tool to confirm the division is meeting the highest possible standards in law enforcement as it evolves over time. The benefits of being an accredited agency includes greater accountability within the agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, stronger defense against legal lawsuits, staunch support from government officials, and increased community advocacy.

Specifically, the accreditation program gives law enforcement agencies the opportunity to prove that their practices meet an established set of professional standards set by CALEA. These standards include developing and maintaining a comprehensive set of written directives, providing the reports and analyses necessary for the police chief and other division leaders to make informed decisions and ensuring that programs are in place for times of natural or manmade critical incidents, just to name a few.

My congratulations to Chief Tracy Hahn and the men and women of her division for their continued commitment to our community's safety.

Tremont recognition

Kudos are also in order for our Engineering Division, for receiving an Outstanding Achievement Award for the Tremont Road Reconstruction Project from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio.

This annual awards program brings recognition to the engineering industry by spotlighting projects that demonstrate a high degree of uniqueness, ingenuity and value. This couldn't be truer for Tremont Road -- every time I drive along this thoroughfare, I can't help but think back to its deteriorated state prior to construction. Today, it's so rewarding to see the new street trees starting to bud and to watch the marked increase in pedestrian and bicycle activity.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager. His office provides this column to ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.