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University Police Department receives accreditation

May 18, 2009 -- Arkansas State University-Jonesboro’s University Police Department (UPD) recently received notification of full accreditation status by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). ASUJ is the first university police department in the state to become IACLEA-accredited. There are four municipal police departments and one university (UA-Fayetteville) police department in the state that are accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). With permission from CALEA, IACLEA uses the same standards as CALEA, with a few additions regarding standards that pertain specifically to colleges and universities such as campus safety concerns, blue phones for emergency communication, etc.

The CALEA standards were developed in the mid-1980s to meet the need for professional standards for best practices in the field of police work. They have been updated several times over the years, and ASUJ’s University Police Department is currently using the fifth edition standards.

Chief Jim Chapman, director of ASUJ University Police Department, said, “The University police department is pleased to have reached this lofty goal. All the men and women of the department take the safety and well-being of every member of our campus community very seriously. Our achievement of accreditation allows everyone to be assured of professional responses to any problem they may encounter while on this campus. Every member of the department worked very hard in reaching this goal, but as always, we will continue to work hard and improve any areas we feel are necessary to maintain excellence in police work for all of our campus constituents.“

Dr. William Stripling, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, agreed that the accreditation helps insure a high level of preparedness in campus security. “Accreditation by IACLEA is one of many ways the ASUJ police department continues efforts to be as well-informed and well-prepared as possible to deal with potential emergencies, and to conduct day-to-day campus security operations,” Stripling said.

Law enforcement departments are allowed up to three years to complete the process once a contract with IACLEA has been signed. ASUJ’s University Police Department completed the work in about one and one-half years. Accreditation review is conducted every three years. To complete this process, UPD must adopt the 231 standards into its policies and practices, and it must establish documentation of proof that personnel operate according to them.

On March 28-31, three IACLEA assessors visited UPD to review all policies and practices to assure they were in compliance with all the standards. The assessors made several “ride-alongs” with UPD officers and also visited the UPD dispatch center to insure compliance. At the conclusion of the site visit, the preliminary report indicated UPD would be recommended for accreditation. A final report, which confirmed accreditation, was prepared by the assessors and the IACLEA board, which consists of 13 professionals in college policing and college administration from around the nation.



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