What is CALEA?
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive associations:
is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by: maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence.
Specifically, CALEA’s goals are to:
- Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities;
- Formalize essential management procedures;
- Establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices;
- Improve service delivery;
- Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and
- Increase community and staff confidence in the agency.
The CALEA Accreditation Process is a proven modern management model; once implemented, it presents the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), 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.
This accreditation program provides public safety agencies an opportunity to voluntarily demonstrate that they meet an established set of professional standards which:
- Require an agency to develop a comprehensive, well thought out, uniform set of written directives. This is one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.
- Provide the necessary reports and analyses a CEO needs to make fact-based, informed management decisions.
- Require a preparedness program be put in place—so an agency is ready to address natural or man-made critical incidents.
- Are a means for developing or improving upon an agency's relationship with the community.
- Strengthen an agency's accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.
- Can limit an agency's liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that internationally recognized standards for law enforcement have been met, as verified by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.
- Facilitates an agency's pursuit of professional excellence.
A Commission Board
CALEA is governed by a Commission Board composed of 21 members. By mandate, the board allows for eleven law enforcement practitioners, with the balance selected from the public and private sectors. CALEA maintains a professional staff contingent managed by an executive director. The staff conducts all administrative and operational duties as directed by the Commission.
CALEA operates as an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. It is not part of, or beholden to, any governmental entity. Fees paid by public safety agencies defray the Commission’s major operating costs. The Commission’s authority is derived solely from the voluntary participation of public safety agencies in the accreditation program.
The purpose of CALEA is to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of professional standards that support the administration of accreditation programs.
The Culpeper Police Department was first accredit by CALEA in 2005 and then again in 2008. We received Advance Accreditation in 2011, 2014, and in 2017. Our agency is currently in the process of obtaining our next Advance Accreditation.
Within Virginia, only 31 out of 340 agencies are CALEA accredited. Of the 31 accredited agencies, only a few have obtained Advanced Accreditation. We thank our community for your support.