Law and Public Safety

Law and Public Safety

CALEA Re-Accreditation

Background

The Department first began exploring CALEA accreditation in 1995. It was felt that CALEA accreditation would further enhance the Department's professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, it would increase the cooperation and coordination with other police agencies and the community we serve. The St. Louis County Police Department was accredited by CALEA in 1998. The re-accreditation process involves submitting annual reports to the Commission attesting to continued compliance with over 400 standards and an on-site commission review. The three-year re-accreditation received in 2010 is the Department's fourth since 1998.

In 2010, the St. Louis County Police Department became the first agency in Missouri to receive CALEA's prestigious Tri-Arc Award, for accreditations in Law Enforcement, Public Safety Communications and Public Service Training Academy, and only the sixth in the world.

CALEA is a voluntary, non-governmental agency formed in 1979 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriff's Association (NSA), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Together, they have created a body of standards which have furthered the professional level of service offered by local law enforcement agencies.

Accreditation Process

The accreditation process consists of five general phases:

I. Application

The accreditation process began when the Department applied to the Commission for applicant status. Entry into the program is voluntary, and once our eligibility was confirmed, the Department and the Commission signed an agreement that identified what was expected of each party.

II. Self-Assessment

The Department initiated a self-assessment, which involved a thorough examination by the Department to determine whether it complied with all applicable standards. The Department prepared forms and developed proofs of compliance for applicable standards and assembled the forms and "proofs" in a manner that would facilitate a review by Commission assessors. As a result of the self-assessment, numerous policies and procedures were changed to improve operations and services. Among the changes made were the Department's Emergency Vehicle Operations policy, Use of Force policy, Complaint Review Procedure and personnel practices were revised. Chief Battelle said, "The self-assessment period enabled us to conduct a formal review of all Department operations in order to make improvements in the delivery of services and to comply with the CALEA Commission's standards to further the professional level of service offered by our Department."

III. On-Site Assessment

An assessment team, composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar but out-of-state agencies, examined all aspects of the St. Louis County Police Department procedures, management, operations and support services. The assessors reviewed written materials, interviewed individuals about job functions, rode with patrol officers and visited offices and precincts to confirm our compliance.

IV. Commission Review

The assessor's final report was forwarded to the Commission for their review and recommendation. After the review and interviews with Chief Battelle and Department members, the Commission awarded the Department accredited status. Accreditation is for a three-year period.

V. Maintenance of Accreditation

To maintain accredited status, the Department must remain in compliance with all applicable standards. The Department submitted annual reports to the Commission attesting to continued compliance. At the conclusion of each three-year period, the Commission conducts another on-site assessment to ensure compliance was maintained. Each time, the Department has complied with all applicable standards.

Value of Accreditation

CALEA re-accreditation was not an easy task. The re-accreditation process involved reviewing and maintaining compliance with all standards. Every policy and procedure within each bureau and unit throughout our organization was reviewed and compared to CALEA's professional standards. As we looked at each standard, we compiled documentation of our compliance. The successful re-accreditation process reflects favorably on the Department and the men and women who make our organization succeed every day. Of the more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the nation, approximately 500 have been granted accreditation.

CALEA accreditation provides our Department with a framework within which it continues to improve the services offered to the citizens of St. Louis County. Since taking a leadership role by attaining initial accreditation, and re-accreditation many municipal police agencies in the County have followed our lead and thereby raised the standard of policing in St. Louis County. Currently more than half of the police officers working throughout all of St. Louis County are employed by agencies involved in the CALEA accreditation process.

Other CALEA Accreditations

In addition to Department accreditation, on December 6, 2008, the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy was granted Accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Public Safety Training Academies. It became the first police academy in Missouri to do so. Re-accreditation was sought and awarded on Deceber 8, 2011. For more information regarding Academy certification, go to the CMPA CALEA Accreditation page.

Then, on March 27, 2010, the St. Louis County Bureau of Communications has also achieved accreditation under the CALEA Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program. This made the St. Louis County Police Department only the sixth department to achieve all three certifications, and one of only twelve currently maintaining that distinction. The Bureau of Communications was successfully re-accredited on March 27, 2013. For more information on the Bureau of Communications accreditation, go to the Bureau CALEA Accreditation page.


St. Louis County Police DepartmentCALEA Logo
7900 Forsyth Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63105

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