Purdue police department receives accreditation
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's police department has received accreditation from the nation's largest law enforcement accrediting organization.
The Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies - CALEA - process began under former police Chief Gary Evans and continued under current Chief John Cox.
"Former Chief Evans started this process because he wanted to make sure we met the highest professional standards, and Chief Cox had the same goal," said Lt. Carol Baunach, who helped lead the department's accreditation committee, which spent hours working through the involved process. "We want to instill confidence and pride in the Purdue community. When people come to Purdue, we want them to know they have a police force that has met the highest standards."
Of the thousands of law enforcement agencies in the United States, there are 592 accredited by CALEA; Purdue Police Department joins 46 other university law enforcement agencies that are accredited.
In order to earn the certification, the department undertook several steps. Among them, police officials:
* Rewrote policies and procedures
* Developed a new process for collecting and tracking evidence
* Set up a new plan to recruit underrepresented populations
CALEA has more than 400 standards, some mandatory and some voluntary. The Purdue Police Department meets all of the required standards and several voluntary standards.
CALEA representatives visited Purdue's campus in August for an on-site evaluation of operational and written procedures and the physical setup of the department and its vehicles. The police department's committee - of Cox, Baunach, officer Mike Downey and Capt. Tim Potts - later attended a CALEA conference in Salt Lake City, where Cox appeared for final questioning before the organization's board.
The accreditation lasts for three years. At that point, CALEA will evaluate the department again for another three-year accreditation.
"You have to do what you say you're going to do," Downey said. "There is more accountability, as we must provide proof of compliance for each standard."
The Purdue Police Department consists of 42 officers who provide law enforcement on the campus of nearly 40,000 students.
CALEA was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive associations.
Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, email@example.com