The Guilford Police Department has officially been re-accredited, recently receiving the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation Award, and continuing a long history of accreditation within the department.
An accreditation is a recognition of excellence for complying with a system of uniform standard or best practices for law enforcement agencies. The department went for its fist CALEA accreditation back in 2005 and as of this month, has now received its fifth accreditation.
According the Guilford Police Department, CALEA Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation is a voluntary process that requires compliance with a comprehensive set of 468 best practice policing standards based on policies that reflect the current thinking and experience of law enforcement practitioners and researchers in the areas of roles, responsibilities, and relationships with other agencies; organization, management, and administration; personnel administration; law enforcement operations, operational support, and traffic safety; detainee and court-related services; and auxiliary and technical services.
Accreditation Manager Sergeant Christopher Massey, with the assistance of Officer Joanne Shove, helped prepare the department for the re-accreditation process. Chief Jeff Hutchinson said the department had a good exit interview with CALEA when they visited earlier in the year and is pleased that the department has once again been re-accredited.
“The success of accreditation is really a function of the commitment by every employee here,” he said. “It is a culture and it is a commitment to a set of values that is carried throughout the department. It would never be successful if everybody that works here weren’t committed and participating in the best practices for all of the years leading up this.”
The accreditation is granted for a four-year period during which the department must make annual reports. Hutchinson said the process of maintaining standards provided by CALEA and the re-accreditation process help the department in general.
“One of the strengths of CALEA is the standardization of processes that follow,” he said, noting that that standardization has proven useful for the department in recent years when facing personnel turnover in the supervisor and administrative ranks.
“What it does is it helps with succession and it helps with process and ensures that process and systems are in place to follow when you have that drain of expertise and experience,” he said. “If we were only looking at that, that was a good reason to participate in accreditation and to continue to participate in it.”
For more information about CALEA, visit www.calea.org.