The University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) has been granted national accreditation by CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. UTPD’s new status makes it the only university police agency in the state to be granted national accreditation.
The CALEA accreditation was announced to its members at a Saturday evening banquet, which concluded the organization’s summer conference in Hampton, Va. Representing the university were Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek, Vice Chancellor Chris Cimino, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Jeff Maples and UTPD Interim Chief Debbie Perry.
Former UTPD chief August Washington, who was named chief of police for Vanderbilt University last month, joined UT representatives at Saturday’s banquet. Washington was instrumental in the department’s bid for CALEA accreditation.
The accreditation resulted from nearly three years of preparation and a site visit from CALEA representatives in April. It means that UTPD has met national and international standards for law enforcement policies and procedures. These policies strengthen the department’s level of accountability to the community. The accreditation promotes best practices for administrative decision making.
CALEA’s Law Enforcement Accreditation Program has become the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate its commitment to excellence in law enforcement.
“We embrace this opportunity and are proud to be listed as the only university in Tennessee to become an accredited law enforcement agency. All of our employees’ hard work made this honor possible,” said Interim Chief Debbie Perry. “We look forward to maintaining the high standards that are required to keep this accreditation. This is a proud moment for the University of Tennessee and UTPD.”
CALEA assessed UTPD’s policies, procedures, management, operations and support services, specifically looking at 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.
With this accreditation, UTPD is now among only 44 college and university departments in the country to be an accredited law enforcement agency.
To be accredited, UTPD successfully demonstrated 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.