What is CALEA?
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) is an international program founded by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Sheriff's Association (NSA), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The Commission has developed a comprehensive set of written standards covering every aspect of law enforcement policies, procedures, practices and operations.
Benefits to West Valley City
These standards are designed to:
- Increase law enforcement agency capabilities to prevent and control crime
- Increase agency effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of law enforcement services
- Increase cooperation with other law enforcement agencies
- Increase employee and citizen confidence in the goals, objectives, policies and practices of the accredited agencies
- Reduce liability to the municipality by requiring an up-to-date policy manual reflecting the best professional practices in law enforcement
- Hold the agency accountable by regular onsite inspections and Commission review
The West Valley City Police Department must comply with the Commission’s 458 law enforcement standards in order to achieve accreditation. Because of the rigorousness of this process approximately 5% of law enforcement agencies nationwide choose to become accredited. It is a highly valued mark of professional excellence for an agency to voluntarily participate in CALEA. West Valley City Police Chief Colleen Jacobs believes that CALEA accreditation helps to ensure that the Police Department meets the highest standards in law enforcement and promotes transparency and accountability of the agency she leads. CALEA accreditation provides independent review and verification of the professionalism of the West Valley City Police Department.
Benefits to Citizens
- Accreditation demonstrates the commitment of the agency to professionalism in the law enforcement field.
- Accreditation assures the community that its law enforcement agency is committed to the provision of services of the highest quality, and that its policies and procedures are effective, responsive, and up-to-date.
- Accreditation commits the agency to a broad range of programs of direct benefit to the public (e.g., community crime prevention) as well as policies and procedures to cope with man-made or natural disasters.
- Accreditation promotes community cooperation and understanding.
The CALEA Review Process
After receiving its initial accreditation in 2017, the West Valley City Police Department began undergoing in-depth annual reviews in 2018, including a policy and practices review, providing proofs of continued compliance with CALEA standards, and an annual Agency Status Report. After going through a virtual site-based assessment in 2020, the West Valley City Police Department underwent a review and public hearing before a panel of CALEA Commissioners in 2021 who re-accredited the Department, its first under the Advanced Accreditation program.