AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Department received a national accreditation award on Nov. 17 during the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) fall conference in Jacksonville, Fla., according to Chief John Horvath.
UMass Amherst is only the fifth police department and the first university or college police department in Massachusetts to attain national accreditation.
The CALEA accreditation process—considered by the public safety community to be the “gold standard” — is a proven modern management tool. Once implemented, it provides an agency’s chief executive officer, on a continuing basis, with a blueprint that promotes the efficient use of resources and improves service delivery, regardless of the size, geographic location, or functional responsibilities of the agency. The standards upon which CALEA’s programs are based reflect the best thinking and experience of contemporary public safety practitioners and researchers. The standards are considered benchmarks for today’s public safety agencies. The award signifies the UMass Amherst Police Department has successfully met a body of nationally recognized professional standards offered by CALEA: Law Enforcement Accreditation.
Agencies receive their awards after participating in a voluntary process that involves a commitment of personnel and other resources. The process can take up to 36 months for law enforcement agencies seeking accreditation. During this period, all aspects of the agencies policies, procedures, management, operations and support services are examined in detail. In addition, each agency conducts a detailed self-assessment and participates in an on-site review by a team of outside CALEA assessors, composed of experienced public safety practitioners from around the country. The local community is also notified of the process and given the opportunity to submit comments and observations. From June 3-5, a team of assessors from CALEA examined all aspects of the UMass Amherst Police Department.
“I am pleased to congratulate every member of the UMass Amherst Police Department for making this award possible. Without their dedication and hard work in the pursuit of public safety professionalism and excellence, this recognition would not be possible,” said Horvath.
The UMass Amherst Police Department also received accreditation status from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) in January 2011. Both awards require re-accreditation every three years.
The accreditation manager for the UMass Amherst Police Department is Officer Brian Davies.