Accreditation Unit Web Site
Welcome to the University of Delaware Department of Public Safety Accreditation Unit website. Our agency has developed this website to keep our community informed about our accreditation program. It is important to a community that its police department adheres to the highest of professional standards. Accreditation through CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) assures adherence to the highest standards of the law enforcement profession. We hope you find this information beneficial and educational. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 302-831-7176.
- What is accreditation?
- What is the accreditation process?
- What is the self-assessment phase?
- How can the public be involved in the on-site assessment of the agency?
- What is reaccreditation?
- What is our commitment to the accreditation process?
- Annual Statistical Summary
Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions and organizations evaluate and improve their overall professional conduct and performance. Accreditation programs have a long history in this country, going back over 200 years when New York created the State Board of Regents to charter colleges and private academies. The cornerstone of this strategy lies in creating a consensus of published and circulated standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Since the 1950's most professions and disciplines have established accreditation programs.
In 1979, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) was founded and the first law enforcement agency was accredited in 1984. Since then, there are CALEA credentialed law enforcement agencies in the United States, Canada, Barbados, and Mexico. As of the middle of 2007, seven Delaware agencies have been awarded accreditation while three Delaware agencies are in the self-assessment phase, with the University Police being among the latter three agencies.
The Accreditation Process
The accreditation process consists of five basic stages. The phases are:
- On-Site Assessment
- Commission Review & Decision
- Maintaining Compliance and Reaccreditation
Our department began the process by enrolling or signing a contract with CALEA in July of 2004. At the time our agency size was assessed as having 76 full-time employees and we were classified as a "C" size agency, with only a "D" size agency being larger. This size placed us in the same agency size as the New Castle County Police and the Delaware State Police. What this really means is that with increasing agency size, more of the 459 standards become mandatory. In signing the contract, our self-assessment period began with three years provided for completion.
During the self-assessment phase, our agency is undergoing the following processes:
- Of the 459 standards for agency size "C", comply with all mandatory standards and 80% of those that are "other than mandatory".
- Develop written directives (policies and procedures), plans, and systems to meet the above applicable standards
- Develop a file system to show proof of compliance for applicable standards
- Conduct a mock on-site assessment (completed April 16-17, 2007)
- Host an on-site assessment team (August 3-8, 2007) who will scrutinize the department's entire operation, making sure it complies with the CALEA standards. The public is invited to participate in the public phase of this on-site assessment by attending in a public hearing on August 7, 2007, by telephone on August 6, 2007, or in writing to CALEA. Details for public involvement are found in our public notice.
Corporal Diana Palladino currently serves as Accreditation Officer.
During the self-assessment phase, our staff created a new set of general orders, created plans and systems, and established an elaborate proofs of compliance filing system. We successfully completed our mock assessment and are readying for the on-site assessment team who will begin to arrive on August 3rd and complete their work on August 8th.
When the assessment team leaves, they will file a report with the commission who will review our performance and award accreditation, provided we are found in compliance by the assessment team. This review will take place in Colorado Springs, CO at the meeting of the commission scheduled for November 14-17, 2007. The University of Delaware Department of Public Safety was accredited at that meeting.
Once accredited the real work begins as our agency works toward reaccreditation, which takes place every three years. During each reaccreditation period, an agency must show it is continuing to comply with the standards by showing updated and continuing proofs of compliance. In addition, more standards are constantly being added and others being modified. Further, an agency is expected to comply with an ever increasing percentage of the other than mandatory standards. Every three years, an on-site assessment team will visit the agency to inspect and verify that the agency continues to adhere to the CALEA standards. Our first re-assessment was July 2010.
Operating a police department in accordance with CALEA standards is a proven management model. Integrity, accountability, and high professional standards are the hallmark of our department as well as the foundations of the CALEA standards. When you embrace such standards, the agency can operate efficiently and professionally. The accreditation process demonstrates our commitment to these standards.
The entire accreditation process demands considerable resources and commitment from our agency. As we believe in the high standards promulgated by CALEA, we have committed our resources towards achieving those standards. By adhering to those high standards, our agency will function with the highest degree of integrity, accountability, and professionalism. The community we serve expects the best and we will constantly strive to meet or exceed those expectations.Back to Top of Document