Emergency communications re-accreditation process encourages public input

Published 4:56 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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The Suffolk Police Department has an upcoming on-site assessment from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies for its emergency communications center.

According to a department news release, the assessment is scheduled from Oct. 2-5, as part of a program to achieve re-accreditation by verifying 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,” the release said. “The Suffolk Police Department must comply with approximately 205 standards in order to maintain an accredited status.”

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As part of the assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments to CALEA and their assessors regarding the 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 homepage of suffolkpd.com under the heading of CALEA,ofr visit cimrs2.calea.org/476 directly. 

For this assessment, there will be no in-person public comment period offered by CALEA.

In keeping with the belief of transparency with the community, a copy of the standards being assessed by CALEA is available for review at the SPD headquarters, 111 Henley Pl. Contact the 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, the release stated. The Suffolk Police Department is community-oriented, and public trust is an integral part of its function on a day-to-day basis. 

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, the department release stated. 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 has once again attested to its commitment to the citizens of Suffolk, department officials said in the release.

According to Moore, the cost of the CALEA Communication Accreditation is approximately $3,600.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments, outside of the online portal, about the SPD’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, VA 20155, or email calea@celea.org.