The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. recently awarded Accreditation with Excellence to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
CALEA was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of four major international law enforcement associations. The commission aims to strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities of law enforcement agencies through the creation of standard management procedures, the administration of an accreditation process and the recognition of professional excellence, according to CALEA’s website.
The accreditation, which was awarded Nov. 17 during CALEA’s fall conference banquet in Jacksonville, Fla., marks the seventh time the highway patrol has received accreditation. The Missouri agency was first accredited in 1992 and has maintained its status since, according to a highway patrol news release.
"Being recommended for accreditation for the seventh time is an important distinction for the Missouri State Highway Patrol," said Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, in a news release. "We look forward to our continued affiliation with CALEA."
Accreditation with Excellence, the award the highway patrol received, was created last year to give agencies the chance to be further recognized for the effective use of accreditation as a model for enhanced public safety service delivery, according to CALEA’s website.
“When you are awarded the Accreditation with Excellence, like we were, it shows that the patrol adheres to the internationally accepted standards in fulfilling the mission to deliver high-quality enforcement services to the citizens,” said Capt. J. Tim Hull, spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
In addition to meeting the commission’s standards beyond compliance, agencies that wish to apply for Accreditation with Excellence must meet certain technical criteria, which include having a minimum of two previous consecutive accreditation awards and not having issues involving life, safety and security standards.
"The primary statutory purpose of the Missouri State Highway Patrol is to enforce traffic laws and promote safety upon the highways," the Missouri State Highway Patrol website states.
The other main function of the agency is to store statewide motor vehicle crash reports, alcohol and drug-related traffic offense convictions and criminal history records. The CALEA accreditation is awarded in recognition of excellence in performing these functions.
“From the initial accreditation we received, there are things you have to make sure that you have in place, like your policies and procedures are up to the standards of CALEA, as well as making sure that your equipment and your personnel are following those rules and guidelines to meet those accreditation standards," Hull said.
For an agency to be eligible for accreditation, it must first be enrolled in one of CALEA’s programs, which are law enforcement, communications, training academy and campus security. After the agency enrolls, it must go through a self-assessment period of no more than 36 months, during which CALEA staff provides guidance on the implementation of applicable standards on preparation for on-site assessment.
Then, CALEA performs an on-site assessment of law enforcement agencies. At each of CALEA’s three annual conferences, hearings are held to determine whether the agencies have complied with the accreditation standards. If all requirements are met, the commission grants accreditation for a three-year period, which allows the agencies to display the CALEA Mark of Excellence.
For an agency to retain its accredited status, it must submit accreditation continuation fees and an annual report.
Approximately 1,000 agencies from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Barbados and Bermuda participate in the CALEA accreditation process. Twenty-three Missouri law enforcement agencies participate in the accreditation process.
The first CALEA accreditation award was granted in 1984.