Penn State Seeks Accreditation through Law Enforcement Commission

UNIVERSITY PARK – A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. will be visiting University Park in September to examine all aspects of how Penn State University Police operate.

Representatives from the CALEA will arrive Sept. 8 to assess policy and procedures, management, operations and support services, according to Stephen Shelow, assistant vice president for police and public safety.

Penn State initiated the accreditation process because approval from the CALEA is a “highly prized recognition” of public safety professional excellence, Shelow said. Penn State has to comply with 189 standards in order to gain accreditation. The accreditation process is the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate its commitment to excellence in law enforcement.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency personnel and members of the community are invited to offer comments during a public information session at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Room 129C of the Hetzel Union Building on campus. Comments also can be shared between 3 and 5 p.m. Sept. 9 by calling 814-865-0452.

Comments at the session and via telephone are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA standards, which are available by contacting Penn State’s accreditation manager, Assistant Chief Bill Moerschbacher, at wxm10@psu.edu.

Written comments about the University Police’s ability to comply with the standards also can be sent to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155.

The assessment team is composed of public safety practitioners from similar but out-of-state agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals, and visit offices and other locations where compliance can be witnessed. Once assessors complete their review of the agency, they will report back to the full commission, which decides if the agency is to be granted accredited/recognition status.

Accreditation/recognition is for a three-year period, during which the agency must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

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