CSUSM Police Earn International Accreditation: Only Agency in San Diego County Currently with this Distinction
The University Police Department (UPD) at CSUSM has earned accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), an international law enforcement accreditation program that sets the standards for police departments across the United States and Canada. CALEA was created in 1979 through the joint efforts of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs' Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. Less than four percent of all law enforcement agencies in the country hold accreditation. Currently, CSUSM’s UPD is the only agency with this important distinction in San Diego County.“CALEA is considered the gold standard in public safety and our vision for the Cal State San Marcos Police Department is for it to be the finest police agency of its kind,” said Interim UPD Chief Douglass Miller. “This accreditation certainly affirms our efforts to serve students, faculty and staff and our surrounding community to the best of our abilities.” During the five-step accreditation process CSUSM UPD proved that it had met a series of extensive and rigid standards. During spring semester a team of CALEA assessors spent four days on campus. The assessors determined the department's compliance with CALEA standards, viewed the agency's operations and conducted a public information session. The assessors then made a recommendation for accreditation to the commission, which granted the accreditation to CSUSM on Saturday, July 21.While the CALEA accreditation process validates compliance with departmental standards, it also provides top management with a blueprint for promoting the efficient use of resources and increasing service delivery. The department will seek reaccreditation by CALEA every three years.“Having our university police department policies and procedures recognized by CALEA helps ensure the quality of service and protection that we provide,” said Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Linda Hawk. “This accreditation demonstrates that CSUSM UPD is a professional agency operating under nationally recognized law enforcement standards.”Cal State San Marcos employs 17 full-time sworn officers in the department. The University’s new public safety building opened in April 2011. The website StateUniversity.com named CSUSM the safest four-year public university in California in December 2011.