UTSA Police Department begins reaccreditation process with visit from commission team

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(Aug. 2, 2011)--A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) will arrive Aug. 14 to examine all aspects of the University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department policy and procedures, management, operations and support services, Chief of Police Steve Barrera announced today.

Verification by the team that the University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department meets the commission's state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain and retain accreditation – a highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence, he said.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency personnel and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 15. The session will be in the Business Building University Room (2.06.04) on the UTSA Main Campus.

If an individual cannot attend the public information session but would like to provide comments to the assessment team, he or she may do so by telephone. The public may call 210-458-6991 between 1 and 3 p.m., Monday, Aug. 15 to give their comments.

Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with CALEA standards. A copy of the standards is available at the University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department. For more information, contact the accreditation manager, Lt. Robert Hudson, at 210-458-4421.

Persons wishing to offer written comments about the University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department's ability to meet the standards for accreditation are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainsville, Va. 20155.

Barrera said that the UTSA Police Department must comply with 464 applicable standards in order to gain and retain accredited status, and that it is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence and competence for law enforcement agencies.

The CALEA program manager for the University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department is Steve Mitchell. He said 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. The assessors are David Hobson, team leader, and Sgt. Christopher Connelly, team member.

Once the CALEA assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status, Mitchell said.

Accreditation is for three years, during which time the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

For more information, write to: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainsville, Va. 20155; or call 800-368-3757 or 703-352-4225 or email calea@calea.org.