KSU police accredited again by CALEA group

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The Kent State University Police Department has received law enforcement accreditation for the seventh consecutive time since 1991 from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

KSU police received the Advanced Accreditation with Excellence Award from CALEA.

The Excellence Award required the agency to submit to the more demanding Gold Standard Assessment format that focuses primarily on processes and outcomes associated with standards specific to agency policies.

KSU police previously been recognized as a Flagship Agency for three consecutive accreditation cycles, or nine years.

The Excellence Award replaced the Flagship designation, making KSU police the only CALEA accredited agency to receive the highest award available for an unprecedented four times and is also designated as a Meritorious Agency for having the distinction of being accredited for more than 15 years.

"Accreditation through CALEA is the long-established, national 'gold standard' for public safety in the United States," said John Peach, Kent State's director of public safety and chief of police.

"The fact that Kent State Police Services was awarded the highest CALEA reaccreditation award four consecutive times, and most recently 'Accreditation with Excellence Award,' makes us the 'best of the best' of accredited law enforcement agencies in the country. No other local, county or state law enforcement agency has that distinction.

"Put succinctly, Kent State Police Services is the recognized national law enforcement agency of 'excellence' relative to policies, procedures, organizational improvement, public safety services and leadership," Peach said. "It is both a highly prestigious award and accomplishment for our police services in its service, dedication and commitment to the Kent State campus community."

The KSU Police Department is one of only 648 police agencies accredited by CALEA throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Barbados, and along with the Brimfield Police Department one of only two such accredited agencies in Portage County. CALEA standards require an agency to establish a management process for monitoring and measuring performance and reviewing and evaluating policy and procedure. This ensures an agency's continual growth, improvement and use of best practices. CALEA audits accredited agencies every three years to ensure the agencies continue to meet the commission's standards of professional excellence.

KSU Police Sgt. Nancy Shefchuk serves as the department's accreditation manager and assisted the CALEA assessors as they toured and inspected the university's police facilities and equipment and reviewed its policies and practices during a four-day, on-site inspection this past August. The assessors also interviewed many people within the police department and the greater university community.

"As a part of this Gold Standard Assessment process, the assessors interviewed and observed everyone at our department, including the secretaries, records personnel, dispatchers, officers, IT staff and administrators," Shefchuk said. "This accreditation award is a testament to everyone's hard work and dedication to the process."

Agencies designated with the Excellence Award are considered the best among elite law enforcement agencies in North America. CALEA provides for an independent, objective review of an agency's programs and practices relative to 482 professional standards and a proven modern management model. CALEA is an independent, nonprofit organization that was created in 1979 and started granting accreditation awards in 1984. The program has become the primary method for law enforcement agencies to demonstrate their commitment to excellence. For more information about the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, visit www.calea.org.

The KSU Police Department was one of the first nationally accredited law enforcement agencies in Ohio and was only the second university police department in the United States to be accredited by CALEA. For more information, visit www.kent.edu/police.

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