On November 5, 2016, the Cornelius Police Department was awarded international recognition for the 5th time by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA®). Only 5.2% of municipal law enforcement agencies in the United States are fully accredited and far fewer have received the 'with excellence' designation under the Gold Standard process of review that Cornelius Police received in Charleston, SC on Saturday.
To receive this designation, an agency must be recommended through a motion on the floor during a hearing before a panel of Commissioners which must be approved by unanimous vote. The added distinction of excellence is to provide agencies an opportunity to be further recognized for the effective use of accreditation as a model for the delivery of enhanced public safety services and management professionalism. This process not only ensures compliance with at least 90% of all standards, but also makes sure you are applying those standards in service delivery. The Cornelius Police Department was compliant with 100% of all standards.
In July 2016, Assessors were flown in from across the country to evaluate this compliance through interviews with citizens, elected officials, agency personnel, and through review of use of force, citizen complaint processes, and standard operating procedures. This report is submitted to CALEA and reviewed by commissioners composed of Police Chiefs, Judges, Professors, City Managers, Community and Non-Profit Leaders, and other officials from across the United States. During the hearing in Charleston, the Cornelius Police Department was required to defend the report to CALEA Commissioners and discuss future issues and challenges facing the agency.
The Cornelius Police Department was the first agency in Mecklenburg County to receive full accreditation in 2004 and was reaccredited in 2007, 2010, and 2013 prior to this assessment.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive associations:
• International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
• National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
• National Sheriffs' Association (NSA)
• Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
The purpose of CALEA's Accreditation Programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services primarily by: maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence.