"I would put this agency and its personnel up against any municipal, county or state law enforcement agency of comparable size and feel confident it would equal or surpass total performance," said Peg Gant, police accreditation specialist at the University of North Texas and one of the IACLEA auditors who conducted the on-site inspection at CLC in May.
CLC's accreditation is good for four years, but the police department needs to recertify annually, documenting that it is maintaining IACLEA standards, Guenther said.
The IACLEA accreditation standards manual is available online at www.iaclea.org.
Following review, the assessors will report back to IACLEA, which decides if the department is to be granted accredited status.
"Accreditation is for four years, during which our department would be required to submit annual reports documenting compliance with IACLEA's standards," Chief Guenther said.
The department also has IACLEA accreditation, first awarded in May 2007 and then renewed in November.
"We believed it appropriate to achieve CALEA accreditation as a law enforcement agency and to add IACLEA accreditation to demonstrate compliance with those additional standards which relate to colleges and universities only," says Chief of Police Richard Deter.
The process is based on 225 standards that are appropriate for campus and public safety and is derived from the standards used by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, along with several specific to campuses, such as the Clery Act and blue light boxes, explains Jack Leonard, director of accreditation at IACLEA
Universities need to take the lead, suggests Lisa Sprague, the associate chief of police at Florida State University and current president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).
Stephen Healy, the public safety director for Princeton University and a past president of IACLEA, emphasizes the need for "trusting, ongoing relationships with local responders and emergency management agencies." He recommends putting it in writing: "Even if I have a great relationship with the local police and shake hands on a commitment for them to help out, it still is important to have a contract that outlines their roles and responsibilities when they come running."
Stafford: I was part of a Special Review Task Force that worked on behalf of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators to review various reports and to publish a white paper called "Overview of the Virginia Tech Tragedy and Implications for Campus Safety: The IACLEA
Blueprint for Safer Campuses." It recommends that if the institution employs a full-service, sworn law enforcement agency, then the officers should have access to a range of use-of-force options, including lethal (firearms) and less-than-lethal (impact tools, chemical, and electronic control devices).