The Delaware River and Bay Authority Police Department (DRBA) was recently awarded the Meritorious Award by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA), an international association that accredits law enforcement agencies for achieving industry-established performance standards and professional practices. CALEA presented this prestigious designation in recognition of DRBA outstanding compliance with accreditation standards during its 2011 re-accreditation.
CALEA was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979 by the four major law enforcement executive 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). CALEA raises the bar of professionalism for law enforcement agencies by establishing a uniform set of written directives, strengthening an agency’s accountability, formalizing essential management procedures, establishing fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices, boosting citizen and staff confidence in the agency, solidifying interagency cooperation and coordination.
The purpose and mission of CALEA is two-fold. First, it establishes a body of standards designed to increasing public safety agency capabilities to prevent and control crime, increasing agency effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of public safety services, increasing cooperation and coordination with other public safety agencies; and, increasing citizen and employee confidence in the goals, objectives, policies, and practices of the public safety agency. Secondly, it is to establish and administer a series of accreditation programs through which public safety agencies can demonstrate voluntarily that they meet an established set of professionally recognized standards leading to excellence in management and service delivery.
By all accounts, the CALEA reaccreditation process is rigorous. It involves law enforcement practitioners from throughout the United States and Canada who are specially trained as assessors. They do not know members of the agency being assessed. It’s not a process that is taken lightly by any member and a great deal of intense scrutiny takes place during the onsite assessment.
In August 2011, CALEA assessors conducted a four (4) day on-site assessment of our Police Department to determine compliance with nationally adopted operational, administrative, training, and personnel management standards. A two-member assessment team reviewed four hundred and forty six (446) compliance files, conducted interviews, inspected equipment, and observed daily operations.
On November 26, 2011, at their annual conference, CALEA voted unanimously to re-accredit the DRBA Police Department for the next three (3) years. The department’s initial accreditation occurred in 1996, and was re-accredited in 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008. Currently, the DRBA police is one of only eight law enforcement agencies within Delaware and one of only fifteen law enforcement agencies within New Jersey that have met the standards for CALEA accreditation.
The DRBA Police Department is extremely honored to have been selected to serve as a CALEA Meritorious Award winning Agency, and the agency is especially proud to earn a fourth consecutive 100% standard compliance rating during the assessment process, a feat not many departments can claim. A tremendous amount of credit for the department’s success must to go the men and women of the DRBA Police Department. It was a result of the hard work and dedication of each and every member of this Department with special acknowledgement to the Accreditation Manager, M/Cpl. Kristen Todd and her team, Mrs. Patricia Neary and S/Sgt. Patrick Canning.