The Lexington Division of Police was awarded state accreditation by the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police in July 2004 and international reaccreditation by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies in July 2007.
What does this mean to You?
As a citizen, this is good news! The accreditation program gives the Division of Police the tools necessary to ensure that all policies and procedures conform to the most up-to-date professional law enforcement standards. International law enforcement accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and state accreditation through the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police (KACP) is not mandatory, but it does reflect the Lexington Division's willingness to demonstrate professional excellence to the Lexington community.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) was formed in 1979 to develop a set of professional law enforcement standards. Law enforcement agencies at state and local levels must demonstrate voluntarily that they meet the stringent criteria. The Commission administers the accreditation process and awards law enforcement agencies with certification. The overall goal of the accreditation program is to promote professionalism and improve the delivery of law enforcement services. Currently, the Lexington Division of Police is one of five agencies in the state that is currently accredited and one of 434 internationally that have achieved this honorable goal.
The Chief of Police, Accreditation Manager, and the Public Safety Commissioner appear before the CALEA Commissioners during a hearing on the Lexington Division of Police accreditation.
What are the Standards the Division must meet?
The standards address six major law enforcement topics:
- Role, Responsibilities and Relationships with Other Agencies
- Organization, Management and Administration
- Personnel Administration
- Law Enforcement Operations, Operational Support and Traffic Law Enforcement
- Prisoner and Court-related Services
- Auxiliary and Technical Services
Designed to reflect the best professional practices in each of the six areas, the standards deal with the "what to", leaving the decisions of "how to" up to each agency. The accreditation process can take from 2-5 years for initial accreditation. To be reaccredited, the Division of Police executed an "Application for Reaccreditation", and submitted to the Commission a plan for achieving reaccreditation (Annual Report) and the progress conducted toward specific goals. An on-site inspection is conducted within 36 months to confirm compliance to current standards.
Reaccreditation Requires Higher Levels of Compliance with Standards
Initial accreditation requires compliance with 80% of non-mandatory standards. The Commission requires increasing levels of compliance as follows:
- First Reaccreditation - 85% compliant
- Second Reaccreditation - 90% compliant
- Third Reaccreditation - 95% compliant
- All subsequent Reaccreditations - 95% compliant
Agencies are, of course, expected to come into compliance with all applicable mandatory standards - including new ones enacted by the Commission following accreditation or the previous reaccreditation. The Lexington Division of Police was in compliance with 99% of optional standards and 100% of mandatory standards during the most recent on-site assessment in 2004. This is an accomplishment the community can be proud of.
Benefits to the Community
- Recognition that the agency's managerial and operational policies and procedures are in accord with a body of nationally certified and recognized professional standards.
- Assurance that every aspect of the agency's personnel system is in accord with professional standards.
- Nationwide recognition of professional excellence.
- Assures the community that the agency is committed to providing the highest quality services and that its policies and procedures are not only effective and responsive but fair and equitable.
- Enhances community understanding, cooperation and support of the agency and it's role in the community.
- Liability litigation is deterred.
- State-of-the-art, impartial guidelines for evaluation and change when necessary.
- Ongoing evaluation of whether agency resources are being utilized in the best interest of it's mission assignment.
- Provides neutral guidelines for developing strong budget justifications - especially for personnel and their allocation across function and activities.
- Promotes standardization of policies, thereby increasing efficiency in handling calls for assistance, referrals and joint investigations with other agencies.
- Promotes relationships with prosecutors, courts, correctional agencies and state and local government officials.
- Adds to employee confidence and assures that they are a part of an agency which is nationally recognized as being a provider of truly professional police services.
For more information about CALEA or KACP accreditation, please contact:
Planning & Analysis Unit
Additional information can be obtained at CALEA's web site at www.calea.org