What is CALEA?
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979 by four major law enforcement associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs’ Association, and Police Executive Research Forum. Executive directors of the four associations appoint members to the Commission annually. The Commission has 21 members who are appointed to three-year terms. The positions are strictly voluntary, and the Commissioners receive no salary for their services. The overall purpose of the Commission’s accreditation program is to improve delivery of law enforcement service.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the process by which a police department receives an objective, outside stamp of approval that is earned through diligent internal and external evaluations. The evaluations are based on professional policing standards set by law enforcement professionals from across the United States. Each agency that voluntarily chooses to go through the accreditation process must be re-accredited every three (3) years.
The St. Charles Police Department received its initial accreditation status on July 29, 1989, and was awarded for an eighth time by the Commission on July 29, 2014. St. Charles was the first police agency in Kane County to receive accreditation status. At the summer CALEA conference held in Schaumburg, IL, the Department was selected by the Commissioners of CALEA to receive the Gold Standard Award.
What Does Accreditation Accomplish?
Accreditation improves service delivery, brings the Department up to the national professional level, provides a sense of well being in the community, and ensures government leaders of the quality of law enforcement. Crime prevention methods are also strengthened and citizen and staff confidence in the agency is increased. The standards involved with accreditation mainly focus on life, safety, health, and liability issues.
In summary. . .
Accreditation ensures the public they are receiving quality, professional police service within their community. Each department that voluntarily agrees to go through the evaluation process must meet standards set by law enforcement professionals across the United States.
For more information about the accreditation process, and its status at the St. Charles Police Department, please contact Training and Accreditation Coordinator Guy Hoffrage at (630) 762-6946.