Police Services receive additional accreditation

Megan Wilkinson

The Kent State University Police Services received accreditation for the sixth time and has also been recognized as a Flagship Agency for the third time through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies this past semester.

Being recognized as a Flagship Agency is highly impressive for any police agency, Lt. William Buckbee said. CALEA gives this recognition to only the most outstanding agencies in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Barbados. The Kent State Police Services, along with the Lexington, Ky., Police Department, are the only two police agencies to earn this recognition three consecutive times.

“Most police stations aren’t accredited in the U.S.,” said Dean Tondiglia, assistant police chief. “It’s not real common, but we believe that accreditation is the best way to go in order to measure an agency’s practices.”

Buckbee said that CALEA sends assessors to inspect the Kent State Police Services every three years to reaccredit the agency. Kent State Police Services has been accredited by CALEA since 1991.

CALEA looks for 463 different professional standards while inspecting the agency. Assessors from CALEA review all policies and procedures of the police department. It watches all operations performed within the police department, it meets with the community to get opinions about the police agency and it looks to see whether the office is in compliance with all 463 standards.

Neither Buckbee nor Tondiglia think that CALEA inspection week is stressful. According to Tondiglia, the Kent State Police Services is busier than usual that week, but they are never nervous when preparing for a visit from the CALEA assessors.

“It really is a team effort,” Tondiglia said of the Kent State Police Services, “You can’t achieve accreditation or Flagship recognition without everyone putting an effort into the agency.”

Out of the 795 police departments in Ohio, only 60 of those agencies are accredited. Buckbee said that there are even fewer agencies out of these 60 that have been awarded with Flagship recognition.

The Kent State Police Services will be accredited for the next three years, but both Buckbee and Tondiglia agree that the agency will continue to self-evaluate itself until CALEA returns to reaccredit it.

“We think there’s a mountaintop to reach in law enforcement,” Buckbee said. “We’re always going to try to do a better job tomorrow than we do today.”

Contact Megan Wikinson at [email protected].