The Clemson University Police Department (CUPD) was awarded national accreditation on March 26, 2021 by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®).
Following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors, CUPD Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police Gregory G. Mullen, Deputy Chief Gregory B. Whitaker and Lt. Jonathan Brown met with CALEA Commissioners for a final review at CALEA’s virtual conference.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual CALEA Conference — where agencies are formally reviewed and awarded in person — was taken online to a virtual format. On March 26, the CALEA Commission voted to approve accreditation of CUPD. Each agency under review goes before CALEA’s 21-member Board of Commissioners, where all findings are reviewed and accreditation status is determined.
CALEA President Anthony Purcell and Executive Director W. Craig Hartley, Jr. will formally award CUPD with accreditation, signifying excellence in public safety and commitment to community. This is CUPD’s first award of national accreditation.
“With this accreditation, CUPD has achieved a status held by slightly more than five percent of all law enforcement agencies nationally,” Mullen said. “This is the result of hard work by every member of the organization, as well as support from University partners, leadership and the Board of Trustees. This award signifies the commitment and dedication to excellence embraced by CUPD.”
The purpose of CALEA accreditation is to establish a foundation within public safety agencies that focuses on achieving the best outcomes in the delivery of services. Consistent internal and external review, combined with third-party validation of an agency’s policies and procedures, is critical in the delivery of high-quality public safety services and promotes accountability.
In 1979, the Commission was created through the combined efforts of four major law enforcement organizations; the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs’ Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.
The purpose of the Commission is to develop standards based on international best practices in public safety, and to establish and administer the accreditation process. The accreditation process is a public safety agency’s voluntarily demonstration of how it meets professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.
“This award of accreditation does not come easy,” said CALEA President Anthony Purcell, Chief of Police, University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department. “Agencies must go through a rigorous review and evaluation of their organization and then implement the necessary policy and procedure changes. The process does not stop at that point. By voluntarily choosing to seek this accreditation, the agency commits to an ongoing review of adherence to CALEA’s standards. Each community with CALEA accredited agencies should feel confident that their public safety organization is going above and beyond and operating under the highest standards in public safety.”
“This is a significant milestone which demonstrates CUPD’s desire to be among the best law enforcement agencies in the country, and their focus on operational excellence in providing service to Clemson’s students, staff, faculty and visitors,” said Executive Vice President for Finance and Operations Tony Wagner. “I congratulate them on achieving this highly sought after award and their ongoing commitment to enhancing safety, reducing risk and preventing harm on Clemson’s campus.”