The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) awarded the New Jersey State Police with its first re-accreditation. The honor was bestowed at a meeting of the CALEA Commissioners on Saturday, July 31st.
The re-accreditation award is the culmination of an intense, three year process every bit as tough as the initial award, which the State Police achieved in 2007. It includes an on-site inspection from a nationally assembled team of assessors representing the commission. Assessors examined files, conducted interviews, inspected facilities and hosted a public call in session.
“Yesterday’s best practices in policing are always being replaced by more effective procedures. These become the current standards that CALEA demands of all who receive their accreditation,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “It’s like hitting a target that’s always moving upward,” he added
To remain accredited, the State Police submits yearly reports to CALEA, maintains files proving compliance with standards, and undergoes agency inspections from assessors.
CALEA was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
The twenty one CALEA Commissioners are appointed by the four founding law enforcement organizations. Eleven are law enforcement practitioners with the remaining selected from both the public and private sectors, including representation from the business community, academia, and the judiciary. The purpose of accreditation is to improve public safety services by strengthening crime prevention, formalizing essential management procedures, establishing fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices, improving service delivery, solidifying interagency cooperation, and increasing community confidence.