Kent State University Police Department Receives Reaccreditation and Prestigious Awards
The Kent State University Police Department (KSUPD) has been reaccredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) for the fifth time since achieving initial accreditation in 1991.
As a result of the recent reaccreditation, KSUPD again was recognized as one of the nation’s elite agencies with several awards. John A. Peach, director of the Department of Public Safety and chief of KSUPD, was presented with the Egon Bittner Award for holding leadership of a CALEA-accredited agency for 15 or more continuous years.
The department received the status of Meritorious Agency for having been accredited successfully for 15 or more years. It also received its second Flagship Award, which recognizes the Kent State University Police Department as a select organization that consistently demonstrates excellence and serves as a model for police, sheriff and other law enforcement agencies around the country. KSUPD is the first agency to receive the Flagship Award twice, sharing this honor with the Division of Police in Lexington, Ky.
In August, KSUPD completed the required five-day, on-site inspection. Three certified CALEA staff members assessed compliance with current standards for organization and management, law enforcement operations and auxiliary and technical support. They found not only the minimal requirements for accreditation, but also a police department operating flawlessly with the highest levels of professionalism.
“Our success has been dependent on the ownership and hard work of all of our staff as we seek to attain the accreditation status,” says Bill Buckbee, administrative lieutenant of KSUPD. “Top to bottom, everyone is on board.”
“My staff receives frequent calls on a weekly basis from agencies, both large and small around the country,” says Dean Tondiglia, associate director of public safety and police services. “The questions range from how we implement policies and procedures to what type of equipment we use.”
The police department won’t be resting long on its laurels, however. CALEA is continually revising its manual and adding new or revised professional standards.
“Every year brings new challenges,” Tondiglia says. “The police department is always looking for ways to innovate and improve services. Accreditation requires constant review and evaluation, not just every three years, but every day.”
CALEA is an independent, nonprofit organization that was created in 1979 and started granting accreditation awards in 1984. The program has become the primary method for a law enforcement agency to demonstrate its commitment to excellence. KSUPD is one of only 619 police agencies accredited by CALEA throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Barbados.
By Sarah Bowen