The LSU Police Department began the three year process to obtain accreditation in November of 2017. During that process, an extensive self-assessment was conducted to determine which standards it met, and to determine what changes needed to be made to meet the others. Changes were made to the department’s facilities and a comprehensive re-write of policies and procedures was conducted. During the third year, the department began submitting evidence to CALEA that its standards were being met. The evidence was thoroughly examined by outside subject matter professionals, who concurred that the department was meeting the requirements. Though the review process was conducted over several months, the initial assessment was concluded with an onsite inspection by CALEA representatives. The LSU Police Department was awarded its initial accreditation in November of 2020.
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)
CALEA is governed by a Commission Board composed of 21 members. By mandate, the board allows for eleven law enforcement practitioners, with the balance selected from the public and private sectors. CALEA maintains a professional staff contingent managed by an executive director.
CALEA operates as an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. It is not part of, or beholden to, any governmental entity. The Commission’s authority is derived solely from the voluntary participation of public safety agencies in the accreditation program.
The purpose of CALEA is to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of professional standards that support the administration of accreditation programs.
What is accreditation?
The Law Enforcement Accreditation process focuses on standards that provide best practices related to life, health, and safety procedures for the agency. These standards are considered foundational for contemporary law enforcement agencies. Currently there are about 200 standards that the LSU Police Department must meet.
The program provides the framework for addressing high risk issues within a contemporary environment, and ensures officers are prepared to meet basic community service expectations and prepared to manage critical events.
The CALEA Accreditation programs provide public safety agencies with an opportunity to voluntarily meet an established set of professional standards, which require:
- Comprehensive and uniform written directives that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities
- Reports and analyses to make fact-based and informed management decisions
- Preparedness to address natural or man-made critical incidents
- Community relationship-building and maintenance
- Independent review by subject matter experts
- Continuous pursuit of excellence through annual reviews and other assessment measures
Accreditation serves to recognize and maintain professional excellence in the LSU Police Department's services by demonstrating compliance with national standards and best practices.
Benefits of accreditation
- Greater accountability within the agency: CALEA standards give the LSU Police Department a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision-making and resource allocation.
- Increased community advocacy: Accreditation embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which agencies and the community work together to prevent and control challenges confronting law enforcement and provides clear direction about community expectations.
- Staunch support from government officials: Accreditation provides objective evidence of an agency’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service-delivery. Thus, government officials are more confident in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and meet community needs.
What does the accreditation process involve?
The accreditation process consists of the following phases:
- On-Site Assessment
- Commission Review
- Maintaining Compliance of Standards for Reaccreditation
Although the accreditation period is for four years, the LSU Police Department must submit annual reports that document continuing compliance with applicable standards. Reaccreditation occurs at the end of the four years, pending another successful on-site assessment and hearing before the Commission.
For more information about the accreditation process, contact the LSU Police Department’s Professional Standards Manager at 225-578-7763 or The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. at 703-352-4225.