International Accreditation - CALEA
The St. Charles Police Department was awarded International Accreditation on Friday, March 26, 2021, by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
Following a three-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors, the CALEA Commission voted to approve accreditation of our Department. Each agency being reviewed goes before CALEA’s 21-member Board of Commissioners where the commission reviews all findings and determines the agency’s accreditation status. This is the St. Charles Police Department’s first award of International Accreditation. Only 4% of law enforcement agencies in the US are accredited by CALEA.
In 1979, the Commission was created through the combined efforts of four major law enforcement organizations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum.
The purpose of the Commission is to develop standards based on international best practices in public safety, and to establish and administer the accreditation process. The accreditation process is how a public safety agency voluntarily demonstrates how it meets professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.
Benefits of Accreditation
Controlled Liability Insurance Costs - Accredited status makes it easier for agencies to purchase liability insurance; allows agencies to increase the limit of their insurance coverage more easily; and, in many cases, results in lower premiums.
Stronger Defense Against Lawsuits and Citizen Complaints - Accredited agencies are better able to defend themselves against lawsuits and citizen complaints. Many agencies report a decline in legal actions against them once they become accredited.
Greater Accountability Within the Agency - Accreditation standards give the Chief Executive Officer a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation.
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.
Increases Community Advocacy - Accreditation embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which police and citizens work together to prevent and control crime. This partnership helps citizens understand the challenges confronting law enforcement and gives law enforcement clear direction about community expectations.
Improved Employee Morale - Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. It requires written directives and training to inform employees about policies and practices; facilities and equipment to ensure employee safety; and processes to safeguard employee rights. Employees take pride in their agency, knowing it represents the very best in public safety.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs' Association (NSA); and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by: maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence.
Specifically, CALEA’s goals are to: Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities; Formalize essential management procedures; Establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices; Improve service delivery; Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and Increase community and staff confidence in the agency.
The CALEA Accreditation Process is a proven modern management model; once implemented, it presents the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), on a continuing basis, with a blueprint that promotes the efficient use of resources and improves service delivery—regardless of the size, geographic location, or functional responsibilities of the agency.
This accreditation program provides public safety agencies an opportunity to voluntarily demonstrate that they meet an established set of professional standards based on industry best practices and approved by an all-volunteer board of commissioners.
Accreditation Public Comment
CALEA reaccreditation is an on-going process. CALEA maintains an access portal that allows for comment and feedback with regard to candidate agencies seeking initial accreditation or reaccreditation status.
The access portal for the St. Charles (MO) Police Department may be found at https://cimrs2.calea.org/987.
The purpose of the public portal is to receive comments regarding an agency's compliance with CALEA standards, engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services, and overall candidacy for accredited status. These comments can be in the form of commendations or concerns. The overall intent of the accreditation process is to provide the participating agency with information to support continuous improvement, as well as foster the pursuit of professional excellence.