Kent State’s Police Department has maintained an international accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies since 1991 and is undergoing the re-accreditation process for three more years of accreditation.
The CALEA accreditation requires departments to show they can meet high standards in four categories, those being policy and procedures, administration, operations and support services.
“This is a stamp of approval saying that if you are accredited that you are following the highest level of professional standards for law enforcement and going the extra step to establish that you are a professional organization,” said Lt. William Buckbee of the KSUPD.
The department’s training for dealing with people with mental illness is just one thing that shows how they go the extra mile, which includes Crisis Intervention Training for officers, according to Buckbee.
“Our officers are trained in the CIT method, advanced training for how to deal with people with mental illness, and two of our officers have been named CIT Officer of the Year for Portage County and one of them was just named CIT Officer of the Year for Ohio,” Buckbee said.
As a part of the re-accreditation process, CALEA officials come to Kent to inspect the department, talk to personnel and the community, review the department’s procedures and policies to make sure they meet the standards they have for law enforcement.
“For each standard, we need to provide evidence that we are meeting the standard for every year of the three for which we are being assessed,” said Buckbee.
The university’s police department has a long record of outstanding performance, said Director of Media Relations Emily Vincent.
“Kent State University’s police services is one of the first internationally accredited law enforcement agencies in Ohio and it was the second university police department in the United States to be accredited by CALEA,” Vincent said.
On Monday night there was a public hearing on campus, where the public could offer his or her comments on the department to the CALEA, but for the second year in a row, no one attended.
“Unfortunately, this event falls between the end of summer and beginning of fall, so we seldom get anyone to come,” Buckbee said.
In November, there will be an event if the department gets re-accredited for another three years.
Contact general assignment reporter Kyle Reynolds at [email protected]