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A Closer Look at Accreditation Standards

University Business, Apr 2010

Here is a glance at what a campus law enforcement agency pursuing accreditation through a national organization can expect. The publications Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies, 5th Edition, and CALEA Process and Programs Guide, provide more details.

  • The agency must develop a uniform set of written directives for how to reach administrative and operational goals and provide direction to personnel.
  • Standards cover roles, responsibilities, and relationships; organization, management, and administration; personnel structure and personnel process; operations and operation support; and auxiliary and technical services.
  • These standards help law enforcement agencies strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities; formalize essential management procedures; establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices; improve service-delivery; solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and boost confidence in the agency.
  • Standards cover training, patrol, criminal investigation, crime prevention, special operations, victim/witness assistance, traffic, and communication.
  • As an example, one area on "Role and Authority" is broken down into several rules concerning several high liability and risk exposure issues, including:
    • Employees must abide by a canon or code of ethics adopted by the department.
    • A written directive must define the legal authority and responsibilities of the protective service personnel.
    • A written directive must govern search and seizure without a warrant by agency personnel.
    • A written directive prohibits bias-based profiling.
    • A written directive states personnel will use reasonable force when force is used for lawful objectives.
    • Employees must receive proficiency training in the use of weapons and annual training in the use of force.