Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies CALEA®
The Wrightsville Beach Police Department received its initial Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies CALEA® (Advanced) Accreditation Award on July 25, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In July, 2018 the department was awarded their re-accreditation certificate in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This award demonstrates the Wrightsville Beach Police Department’s adherence to the highest standards in law enforcement policy, administration and operations. Such an award is possible from the effort of the men and women of the Wrightsville Beach Police Department and all of the hard work and willingness to observe the best practices in policing. While these awards are tremendous honors to the Wrightsville Beach Police Department, there is no time to bask in the glow of these successes as we are already preparing for the 2022 Re-Accreditation which now, as part of a new four-year cycle, includes annual Compliance Service Manager (CSM) reviews. The CSM reviews are conducted remotely and include all “time-sensitive” standards as well as a review of at least 25% of the other 481 standards. The Wrightsville Beach Police Department will again need to demonstrate compliance with all of the required standards. Such compliance includes not only sound policy, but proof of policy adherence as well. To assist with this process, the Wrightsville Beach Police Department is using the PowerDMS™ software for not only policy management, but as a training tool for all Department members.
Additionally, in 2018, the Wrightsville Beach Police Department entered into the North Carolina League of Municipalities Risk Assessment Program. This program is similar to the CALEA assessment program in that it assesses the department for best practices when it comes to areas of moderate to high liability. In March of 2019, the department completed the NCLM Risk Assessment Review and was awarded its certificate of compliance.
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCREDITATION
The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was the first credentialing program established by CALEA after its founding. It was originally developed to address what was seen as a need to enhance law enforcement as a profession and to improve law enforcement service delivery. That mission continues today through a tiered law enforcement accreditation program. Agencies may participate in either CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation (Tier 1) or CALEA Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation (Tier 2), without regard to agency size.
Additionally, these programs are open to all types of law enforcement agencies, on an international basis. And, these programs provide specific standards to support law enforcement agencies functioning in the college/university environment. They provide a process to systematically conduct an internal review and assessment of the agencies’ policies and procedures, and make adjustments wherever necessary to meet a body of internationally accepted standards.
Since the first CALEA Accreditation Award was granted in 1984, the program has become the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement. The standards upon which the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is based reflect the current thinking and experience of law enforcement practitioners and researchers. Major law enforcement associations, leading educational and training institutions, governmental agencies, as well as law enforcement executives internationally, acknowledge CALEA’s Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies© and its Accreditation Programs as benchmarks for professional law enforcement agencies.
- CALEA Accreditation requires an agency to develop a comprehensive, well thought out, uniform set of written directives. This is one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.
- CALEA Accreditation standards provide the necessary reports and analyses a CEO needs to make fact-based, informed management decisions.
- CALEA Accreditation requires a preparedness program be put in place—so an agency is ready to address natural or man-made unusual occurrences.
- CALEA Accreditation is a means for developing or improving upon an agency’s relationship with the community.
- CALEA Accreditation strengthens an agency’s accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.
- Being CALEA Accredited can limit an agency’s liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that internationally recognized standards for law enforcement have been met, as verified by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.
- CALEA Accreditation facilitates an agency’s pursuit of professional excellence.