Police assessors to visit Suffolk

Published 6:58 pm Saturday, November 19, 2016

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. will arrive Nov. 28, to examine all aspects of the Suffolk Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services, according to a city press release.

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 6 p.m. Nov. 28. The session will be conducted in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 442 W. Washington St.

“The accreditation process is an arduous task to be completed by any agency,” Chief Thomas Bennett stated in the press release. “But the benefits of accreditation undoubtedly outweigh the time and attention to detail needed to ensure the department maintains its prestigious accreditation. The Suffolk Police Department continues to ensure that policies created by the department are on the cutting edge and addressing emerging issues of law enforcement. Seeking reaccreditation ensures that our staff is continuing to adhere to these standard driven policies through sound training, clear lines of authority and follow up reports by staff.”

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If, for some reason, an individual cannot speak at the public information session but would still like to provide comments to the assessment team, he or she may do so by telephone. The public can call 514-4223 on Nov. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. Comments will be taken by the assessment team.

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’s standards. A copy of the standards is available at the Suffolk Police Department. To view these standards, contact Officer S. Koziana at 514-7959.

Persons wishing to submit written comments about the Suffolk Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., by mailing them to the Field Operations Division at 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155, or emailing them to calea@calea.org.

The Suffolk Police Department must comply with approximately 188 standards which, in turn, contain more than 300 bulleted sub-standards in order to gain accredited status.

The CALEA Accreditation Manager for the Suffolk Police Department is Officer S. Koziana. The assessment team is comprised of public safety practitioners from similar but out-of-state agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals and visit officers and other locations where compliance can be witnessed.

The assessors are Major Stephen Seefchak and Ms. Laura Saunders.

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

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

For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., please write the Field Operations Division at 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155, or call 703-352-4225.