KSU Police Department is reaccredited

Kevin Gareau

The Kent State Police Department was the second university police department in the country to be accredited in 1991, and it received its fifth consecutive accreditation Nov. 16 in Colorado.

Kent State Police Lt. William Buckbee said each accredited department must be reaccredited every three years, when it presents proof that it is complying with set standards.

“There are standards for almost every area of the police department, from evidence collection and storage to how we interact with the public,” Buckbee said.

The honor comes from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies.

In addition to being reaccredited, the department was also presented with three awards, including flagship status.

“Flagship status was developed by the Commission three years ago to award the agencies that are really demonstrating a higher level of achievement and preparation for accreditation,” Buckbee said.

Buckbee said the department was originally presented with flagship status three years ago, and they are the only university police department that has flagship status. They are also only the second department to receive flagship status twice in a row.

The second award is the Meritorious Award, which recognizes departments that have been accredited for 15 years.

Chief John Peach received the Egon Bittner Award, which recognizes police chiefs who have led an accredited department for 15 years.

Peach said it was an honor to be present at the accreditation ceremony.

“I had so many chiefs coming up to me and telling me how great of a department we have,” Peach said. “People from departments much larger than ours were asking me how we carry out our policies.”

Buckbee said the reaccreditation process is not an easy one.

“Every three years, three assessors come in to ensure that we are complying with all of the standards,” Buckbee said. “They look at our policies, interview people in the department and the community.”

Buckbee said all of the standards set forth by the Commission must be followed, or the department must present a valid reason why they can’t meet certain standards.

The Commission was established in 1979 with the goal of setting standards for all law enforcement agencies. It accredits police departments in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Barbados.

Buckbee said while the majority of law enforcement agencies are not accredited, it’s a growing trend.

“Those departments that are accredited can consider themselves among the elite,” Buckbee said. “Being accredited is a rigorous process.”

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Kevin Gareau at [email protected].