The St. Charles City Police Department was awarded International Accreditation on Friday, March 26 by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
Following a three-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors, the CALEA Commission voted to approve accreditation of the department. Each agency being reviewed goes before CALEA’s 21-member Board of Commissioners where the commission reviews all findings and determines the agency’s accreditation status. This is the St. Charles Police Department’s first award of International Accreditation. Only 4% of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are accredited by CALEA.
“We are extremely proud of our Police Department for achieving this prestigious designation,” Mayor Dan Borgmeyer said. “It is a testament to their professionalism, high standards and dedication to our city and our residents. I want to congratulate each and every member of the department on this accomplishment and thank them for their service to our great city.”
The Commission was created in 1979 to develop standards based on international best practices in public safety, and to establish and administer the accreditation process. The accreditation process is how a public safety agency voluntarily demonstrates how it meets professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.
The benefits of accreditation include:
Controlled Liability Insurance Costs: Accredited status makes it easier for agencies to purchase liability insurance; allows agencies to increase the limit of their insurance coverage more easily; and, in many cases, results in lower premiums.
Stronger Defense Against Lawsuits and Citizen Complaints: Accredited agencies are better able to defend themselves against lawsuits and citizen complaints. Many agencies report a decline in legal actions against them once they become accredited.
Greater Accountability Within the Agency: Accreditation standards give the Chief Executive Officer a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation.
Staunch Support from Government Officials: Accreditation provides objective evidence of an agency’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service delivery. Thus, government officials are more confident in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and meet community needs.
Increases Community Advocacy: Accreditation embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which police and citizens work together to prevent and control crime. This partnership helps citizens understand the challenges confronting law enforcement and gives law enforcement clear direction about community expectations.
Improved Employee Morale: Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. It requires written directives and training to inform employees about policies and practices; facilities and equipment to ensure employee safety; and processes to safeguard employee rights. Employees take pride in their agency, knowing it represents the very best in public safety.