Commission for Accredited Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)|
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979 by the four major law enforcement membership associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs' Association (NSA); and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The Executive Directors of these four associations appoint members to the Commission annually; an endorsement requires a majority vote for each appointment.
The Commission has 21 members; 11 members are law enforcement practitioners; the remaining 10 members are selected from the public and private sectors. Commissioners are appointed to a term of three years. The position of Commissioner is voluntary and receives no salary, although travel and per diem expenses are provided when conducting Commission business.
CALEA maintains a small, professional staff managed by an Executive Director. The staff conducts all administrative and operational duties as directed by the Commission. Commission staff is available to assist applicant and accredited agencies through a toll-free telephone number. CALEA produces a newsletter and offers workshops to explain the accreditation process and standards during the Commission Conference held three times annually.
The Commission's Authority: CALEA derives its general authority from the four major law enforcement membership associations mentioned above. Their members represent approximately 80% of the law enforcement profession in this nation. The Commission derives its accreditation authority from those agencies that voluntarily participate in the accreditation program.
The Purpose of the Commission: The overall purpose of the Commission's accreditation program is to improve delivery of law enforcement service by offering a body of standards, developed by law enforcement practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date law enforcement topics. It recognizes professional achievements by offering an orderly process for addressing and complying with applicable standards.
The Voluntary Nature of the Accreditation Program: Successful completion of the accreditation program requires commitment from all levels of the organization, starting with the chief executive officer. To foster commitment, a decision to participate should be voluntary. To this end, the Commission insures that law enforcement accreditation™ is and will continue to be a voluntary program.
Benefits: Besides the recognition of obtaining international excellence, the primary benefits of accreditation include controlled liability insurance costs, administrative improvements, greater accountability from supervisors, increased governmental and community support.
Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Acceditation (CFA)
Program Development: In 1993, Florida Statute 943.125 encouraged the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) and the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) to create an independent voluntary law enforcement agency accreditation program. The movement by law enforcement professionals to create accrediting bodies is in response to a need to ensure the public that quality services are delivered in accordance with recognized and accepted standards.
Representatives from FSA and FPCA developed an accreditation program, modeled after the national accreditation program, which requires compliance with more than 250 professional standards designed specifically for Florida law enforcement agencies. These standards are practical, easily understood, and achievable even for the smallest law enforcement agency. The program was designed with consideration for the following goals:
- To establish and maintain standards that represent current professional law enforcement practices;
- To increase effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of law enforcement services;
- To establish standards that address and reduce liability for the agency and its members;
- To establish standards that make an agency and its personnel accountable to the constituency they serve;
- To implement a Florida accreditation program that establishes standards which do not conflict with national standards.
A feasibility study and status report were delivered to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in November 1993. A joint FSA/FPCA Charter Review Committee was then formed, headed by Sheriff Neil J. Perry of St. Johns County. This committee developed the charter for the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. and established the overall framework for its operation.
The Commission: The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. was established by charter December 13, 1994 and incorporated on February 9, 1995. It is an independent, tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation designated as the accrediting body for Florida law enforcement accreditation. The Commission's purpose is to establish a program for accreditation that can be achieved by all Florida law enforcement agencies. The Commission comprises eleven volunteer members:
- Four sheriffs appointed by the Florida Sheriffs Association;
- Four police chiefs appointed by the Florida Police Chiefs Association;
- A mayor, city commissioner, or city manager appointed by the Florida League of Cities;
- A county commissioner appointed by the Florida Association of Counties; and
- An appellate or circuit court judge appointed by the Florida Supreme Court.
The Commission appoints the executive director, who manages its staff and the accreditation program. The executive director and staff have the responsibility and authority to carry out all policies, procedures, and activities of the Commission and its committees. This staff supports agencies working toward accreditation or reaccreditation, oversees the on-site process, coordinates Commission review, and handles the Commission's business matters. In keeping with the legislative intent of FSS 943.125, the Florida Legislature has approved funding for staff in support of the commission.
Program Overview: The Commission offers two ways for a law enforcement agency to become state accredited. Agencies may choose to meet all applicable state standards (full compliance) or, if the agency is currently nationally accredited under CALEA, may choose to meet only the standards outlined as additional to the national process (comparative compliance).
Agencies begin the accreditation process with a request for an application. Once the application is completed and submitted to the Commission for review to determine eligibility, an agreement and invoice are sent to the applicant agency. The formal accreditation process begins when the agency executes this agreement, which specifies the obligations of the agency and the Commission. The agency has twenty-four months to complete the self-assessment phase from the date the executive director signs the accreditation agreement.
Police Department Involvement: The Port Orange Police Department has been a state accredited agency through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) since 1997, the first municipal agency in the State of Florida to complete full compliance. The Department recently completed re-accreditation in August 2000 and is now on a mission to attain national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).