Community Invited to Public Forum for UT Police Department Accreditation

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) is in the final stages of becoming the only university police agency in the state to be granted national accreditation.

UTPD is asking the campus and members of the Knoxville community for input in this process.

Representatives from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) will hold a public forum at 3:15 p.m. on April 20 in rooms 223-224 of the Carolyn P. Brown University Center, 1502 Cumberland Ave. All UT students, faculty and staff, as well as the Knoxville community, are invited to the forum to offer comments.

The CALEA team will be assessing UTPD’s policies, procedures, management, operations and support services.

UTPD Chief August Washington said that if accreditation is granted, UTPD will be the only accredited college law enforcement agency in Tennessee and one of only 44 colleges and university departments in the country.

UT employees, students and the public also are invited to offer comments by calling (865) 974-0136 from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 20. Comments will be taken by members of the CALEA assessment team on a non-recorded line.

Comments at the public information session as well as those by telephone are limited to 10 minutes. Feedback should relate to CALEA’s general areas of focus, which include: the department’s ability to prevent and respond to crime, deliver services, build a rapport with the campus community, cooperate with other law enforcement agencies and continue in its efforts to improve its practices and procedures.

“Accreditation by CALEA is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” Washington said, “not only on university campuses, but throughout the nation’s law enforcement agencies.”

To be accredited, law enforcement agencies must demonstrate the following:

– A comprehensive set of formal goals and directives;
– A solid structure for providing information and analysis to the chief of police and the management team;
– An emergency preparedness program already in place;
– Developing or improving the agency’s relations with the community;
– Adherence to stringent standards that promote strong lines of accountability, both within the agency and with the community, and reduce liability and risk exposure to the agency; and
– Facilitation of the agency’s pursuit of professional excellence.

More information on the accreditation process is available at the CALEA Web site, http://www.calea.org.

Contacts:

August Washington, UTPD Chief, (865-974-6631 or awashin4@utk.edu)

Karen Collins, UT media relations, (865-974-5186 or karen.collins@tennessee.edu)

Kristi Hintz, UT media relations, (865-974-3993 or khintz@utk.edu)