One of the major goals of the Cedar Rapids Police Department is to obtain CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) certification. The primary purpose of the accreditation is to voluntarily demonstrate the department’s commitment to excellence in law enforcement. There are five general phases or steps in the accreditation process including enrollment, self-assessment, on-site assessment, Commission review and decision, and maintaining compliance and reaccreditation.
The CALEA Accreditation process requires the Police Department to develop a comprehensive, well-thought-out, uniform set of written directives. The Police Department is currently in the process of reviewing and updating over 500 professional standards with solid, well-thought-out objectives. Thorough review and understanding of all Executive Orders, Department Policy Manual and General Orders and incorporating them into Directives or Standard Operating Procedures are one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.
The accreditation process helps the Police Department enhance its preparedness program so that the Department can work with other City departments and agencies to address natural or man-made unusual occurrences. The Police Department, in partnership with the Fire Department, has established an Incident Management Team, modeled after the Incident Command System, to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of citizens during emergency incidents or large events like the RAGBRAI event in Cedar Rapids. Everything from command locations, street closures, evacuation routes and number of personnel are planned so that operations are conducted in a safe, cost effective and efficient manner. Response priorities are focused on life safety and incident stabilization. Property and environmental considerations are also managed.
Another major benefit of accreditation is that it strengthens the Department’s accountability, both within the Department and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities. Obtaining CALEA accreditation can limit the Department’s liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that internationally recognized standards for law enforcement have been met, which are verified by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.
For further information on CALEA please go to the following web site: