The role of a professional organization is serving its clients; our role is serving the members of the university community. The manner in which the Department of Public Safety conducts business, operationally as well as administratively, must be consistent with professionally accepted practices and ideals. The members of the university community are entitled to a professional department. It is for this reason that we have voluntarily sought accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)
Accreditation is a method to ensure that the UNC Department of Public Safety is in compliance with national and international standards covering all aspects of law enforcement policies, procedures, practices, and operations. Accreditation makes a statement to other law enforcement agencies, professions, and the university community that the UNC Department of Public Safety meets the highest standards of professionalism.
The Professional Standards Division assures departmental compliance with the professional standards set forth by CALEA.
Accreditation demonstrates the department’s commitment to provide the students, faculty, and staff of UNC the high standard of services of a public safety department recognized for meeting national professional standards. CALEA initially accredited the UNC-CH Department of Public Safety in 1995 following an intensive three-year self-assessment period. This made UNC-CH Department of Public Safety the 378th agency to be nationally accredited and the 11th university and/or college. We were reaccredited in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, and most recently in 2012. During Spring, 2012, three assessors from CALEA performed an on-site assessment of the Department’s operations and written directives for a re-accreditation review. The Department was in compliance with all applicable standards, and as a result, the Department was recommended for reaccreditation to CALEA and reaccreditation was approved in November. The Department’s next reaccreditation assessment is scheduled for April 2015.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies was organized through the combined efforts of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriff’s Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum. These organizations continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the Commission and are responsible for appointing members of the Commission’s Board. The Commission was formed to develop a set of law enforcement standards and to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies could demonstrate voluntarily that they meet professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery
The period of accredited status for the UNC-CH Department of Public Safety is three years. During this time, our agency must submit annual reports that document continuing compliance with applicable standards. Our agency has applied for reaccreditation, which will be determined by continuing the self-assessment process and successfully submitting the agency for another onsite inspection every 3 years. The achievement of accreditation for the department has resulted in improvements in structure, leadership, organization, general direction, and accountability. The process of intensive self-assessment has united the department in its commitment to serve the university community through well-written policies and procedures, objective management, and conscious recognition of the need for law enforcement professionalism.
CALEA was formed in 1979 to establish a body of standards designed to:
- Increase law enforcement agency capabilities to prevent and control crime
- Increase agency effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of law enforcement services
- Increase cooperation and coordination with other law enforcement agencies and with other agencies of the criminal justice system
- Increase citizen and employee confidence in the goals, objectives, policies and practices of the agency
There are currently approaching 500 Standards that cover:
- Role, Responsibilities, and Relationships with Other Agencies
- Organization, Management, and Administration
- Personnel Structure
- Personnel Process
- Operations Support
- Traffic Operations
- Detainee and Court Related Activities
- Auxiliary and Technical Services
Accreditation is an intensive effort involving the entire agency and is renewed every three years.