UTMB's Police Department was awarded “Law Enforcement Recognition” by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Of the 18,500 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., only 1,000 are CALEA accredited or recognized.
To achieve recognition, the UTMB Police Department was required to meet 102 standards from the 5th Edition of the Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies. These standards address: life, health and safety issues; legal and other critical requirements; and conditions that reduce major risk and high-liability exposures. The process for achieving CALEA Recognition took approximately 16 months.
Each of the 102 standards required UTMB to: develop written directives that met specific, detailed criteria; assemble written documentation of compliance; and then host an on-site assessment by a licensed CALEA
UTMB Police Chief Thomas E. Engells said the university pursued CALEA Recognition for several reasons. He noted that University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, established a system-wide goal that all UT Police Departments become CALEA-accredited. In addition, Chief Engells said his department also sought the intense, voluntary recognition because “UTMB is one of the nation’s finest academic health centers,and it deserves nothing less than a nationally recognized police organization.”
Chief Engells said the CALEA Recognition process was a departmental effort, but he offered special appreciation to Terry Hughes, accreditation manager for UTMB Police. “Ms. Hughes coordinated all aspects of this effort for the department, and we are enormously grateful to her,” Engells said.
Earning CALEA Recognized status is the final step preceding full accreditation by the agency. The Department must now maintain compliance with all 102 standards and then meet the requirements for an additional 100 standards before it can receive accreditation by CALEA.
The department plans to achieve CALEA accreditation by 2014. CALEA recognition and accreditation are recognized as the “gold standards” in American Public Safety. CALEA was established in 1979 as an independent accrediting authority by the four major law enforcement executive associations:
International Association of Chiefs of Police
National Organization of Black LawEnforcement Executives
National Sheriffs’ Association
Police Executive Research Forum