SPD emergency communications center seeks accreditation

Published 7:23 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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Suffolk Police Department is scheduled for a virtual assessment from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies for its emergency communications center. 

The assessment is scheduled from Aug. 18 through Aug. 26, as part of a program to achieve re-accreditation by verifying the SPD continues to meet professional standards. The accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. SPD must comply with about 205 standards in order to maintain accredited status. 

As part of the virtual assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments to CALEA and their assessors regarding the Suffolk Police Department. CALEA has established an online portal to receive citizen comments. A link to the portal can be found on the Suffolk Police Department’s website on the home page of suffolkpd.com under the heading of CALEA. For those that choose to go directly to CALEA’s site, the link of cimrs2.calea.org/476 is an option. For this virtual assessment, there is no in-person public comment period offered by CALEA.

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In keeping with the belief of transparency with the community, a copy of the standards being assessed by CALEA are available for review at the Suffolk Police Department Headquarters, 111 Henley Place. Contact Accreditation Manager, Master Police Officer Andrew Fenneman, at 757-514-7959 for an appointment.

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

SPD is community-oriented, and public trust is an integral part of its function on a day-to-day basis, officials said in a news release. This rigorous process offers transparency to the public, which mutually benefits both parties so that the department can work together to build and support the most viable community possible. 

Enrollment in the CALEA Accreditation process is strictly voluntary, as most Departments would not be able to reach compliance with the strict accountability standards that are required. Only a small percentage of all police departments in the nation are accredited, as it takes the highest level of commitment to excellence to be able to comply with all of the requirements. 

By once again voluntarily subscribing to this strategic and comprehensive re-accreditation process, SPD officials said they have once again attested to its commitment to the citizens of Suffolk.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments, outside of the online portal, about the Suffolk Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards for re-accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement lnc., 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virgina 20155, or email calea@celea.orq.