By TONIA HILL
The University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) has been re-accredited with Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation recognition by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
The department was made aware of the distinction at the CALEA conference awards ceremony on Saturday, July 29.
UCPD is the only private university police department in the Midwest that is CALEA accredited. UCPD was granted accreditation for the first time in 2014.
“Receiving the CALEA accreditation again shows that the members of the UCPD perform their duties to the highest standards set in law enforcement today,” said Eric M. Heath, the University of Chicago’s (U. of C.) associate vice president for Safety & Security, in a written statement. “I am proud of the hard work required of our officers and staff to achieve this recognition. We will continue to work hard and provide this level of service, professionalism, and commitment to our community.”
CALEA assessors visited the UCPD in April to conduct an on-site assessment of the police department.
The evaluators surveyed all aspects of the department’s policies and procedures, management operations, and support services.
The on-site assessment is a part of the voluntary process that is required to be accredited with CALEA that recognizes excellence in law enforcement.
Retired Police Chief Judith King, California State University – Fullerton Police Department, and retired assistant chief James Boyer, Mansfield Ohio police department, led the evaluation process.
A public information forum was held in April, which allowed the public to speak with CALEA assessors directly.
Turnout for the public hearing was small, only three residents were present at the meeting. Those that were present spoke of UCPD’s relationship to the community, which some residents see as problematic for people of color in the area.
CALEA’s final report stated that the UCPD “offers a full range of professional law enforcement services to a diverse and growing community. The assessors were impressed by the agency’s commitment to the community throughout all facets of the agency’s operations. It was obvious, personnel at all levels had a sense of pride and responsibility to serve the University of Chicago,” said U. of C. in a written release.
Accreditation lasts four years. UCPD will submit annual reports and documentation to show compliance with standards.