WHAT IS CALEA?
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979, by the following four major law enforcement membership associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriff’s Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.
The overall purpose of the Commission’s accreditation program is to improve delivery of law enforcement service by offering a body of standards developed by law enforcement practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date law enforcement topics. It recognizes professional achievements by offering an orderly process for addressing and complying with applicable standards.
CALEA AND OUR SERVICE
In February 2001, the Brantford Police Service signed an agreement with CALEA indicating its voluntary commitment to meeting the highest standards available for law enforcement agencies. At that time, there were 444 standards for a law enforcement agency to address to achieve accreditation. Retired Chief Bob Peeling was the driving force in introducing CALEA to our community. Deputy Chief Jeff Kellner, an Inspector at the time, was tasked with ensuring that our Service was successful in our accreditation process.
A team of CALEA assessors performed an on-site inspection of our Service in December 2003. During the accreditation inspection, CALEA assessors reviewed all 444 standards, interviewed members of the Service, and spoke with citizens of the community. A public phone-in session and a town hall meeting provided the community an opportunity to hear more about the accreditation process and to present their opinions on the accreditation of the Brantford Police Service.
The final step of accreditation occurred at the March 2004 CALEA Conference where, during the CALEA commission hearing, the on-site assessment report was reviewed and Service representatives were interviewed by a panel of CALEA commissioners. In April 2004, our Service was awarded accreditation and received our CALEA Accreditation Certificate at our Change of Command Ceremony in Brantford.
Since the initial accreditation, the Service has continued to strive to remain accredited. To stay accredited, the Service has to continue to be in compliance with the applicable standards each year. Annual reports are sent to CALEA in order to keep them updated on the Service’s commitment to accreditation. Every three years on-site inspections occur to ensure compliance with CALEA standards for the entire three-year cycle. Mock on-site inspections are held prior to the CALEA on-site to help ensure the CALEA on-site runs as smooth as possible.
In December 2006 our first reaccreditation on-site occurred. The results were positive with the team leader strongly recommending our re-accreditation to the Commission in his final report. The hearing and award ceremony for re- accreditation occurred in Montreal on July 28, 2007.
Three years later, the Service had its second reaccreditation on-site inspection. By December 2009, there were 463 standards in the Law Enforcement Accreditation program. The CALEA process had become an important tool in the Service’s quality assurance process. Obtaining proofs of compliance through regular audits and self assessments maintains quality by addressing any issues that may be discovered. The Service was awarded reaccreditation again in July 2010.
Another on-site inspection was held in December of 2012 to ensure the Service was in compliance with stanadards through 2010, 2011 and 2012. The on-site went well. A report from the assessment Team Leader will be reviewed and the Commission will hold a hearing in March of 2013 to determine reaccreditaiton status.
The Service is continuing its commitment to policing our community using the internationally recognized best practices that our partnership with CALEA ensures.
(Lt. to Rt. - Chief Derek McElveny, Police Services Board Member Debi Dignan-Rumble and our
CALEA team Inspector Scott Easto and Norm Calder at Reaccreditation Awards July 2010)