The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is an organization whose goal is to improve delivery of law enforcement service through an accreditation program. CALEA was established in 1979 by the four major law enforcement membership associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (lACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs' Association (NSA); and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The members of these four organizations represent approximately 80 percent of the law enforcement profession in this nation.
CALEA's authority is based on these four major law enforcement membership associations. Each year, these four associations select new members for the commission through a majority vote.
The commission's accreditation program provides standards to which law enforcement agencies can choose to comply. These standards cover a wide range of topics and were developed by law enforcement practitioners.
As stated, participation in the accreditation program is voluntary. This helps foster commitment, which is critical at all levels of the organization.
Participation in the accreditation process helps an agency in many ways. For example, accreditation provides a management model that enables an agency to do a better job of providing services, while also controlling liability insurance costs and making supervisors more accountable. The accreditation program also helps the agency per form its administrative duties smoothly and, finally, results in increased governmental and community support.
Although relatively new to the law enforcement field, universities, hospitals and other professional organizations have, for many years, undergone similar accreditation processes to prove compliance with a set of professional, nationwide standards.
Law enforcement accreditation requires meeting up to 484 (March 2015) independently reviewed professional standards that address six major law enforcement subjects, including: role, responsibilities and relationships with other agencies; organization, management and administration; personnel administration; law enforcement operations, operational support and traffic law support; prisoner and court-related services; and auxiliary and technical services.
In December of 2003 the Rockford Police Department began the process of obtaining accreditation through the CALEA and in the spring of 2010 we were awarded our first accreditation. The Rockford Police Department received its first re-accreditation in the spring of 2012 and we will accept our second re-accreditation in July of 2015.
- Nationwide recognition of professional excellence
- Community understanding and support
- Pro-active management systems, polices, and procedures documented
- Liability litigations are reduced
- Enhances the morale of department personnel
- Adherence to law enforcement standards reinforces public confidence in police departments much the same as it does for hospitals, universities, and other professional services
- Accreditation makes a statement to other law enforcement agencies, professions and the community that the Rockford Police Department meets the highest level of standards and professionalism
As of March of 2015, there are currently 644 law enforcement agencies in the United States, seven in Canada, four in Mexico and one in Barbados accredited under the Law Enforcement Accreditation program. Another 151 agencies are seeking their initial award.
Click HERE to view the Rockford Police Department 2nd CALEA Re-Accreditaion Assessment Report
Click HERE to view CALEA's web site