UTPD reviews goals for reaccreditation

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The UT Police Department will keep meeting a set of international conduct standards because of a continued affiliation with two public safety associations.

UTPD Chief Robert Dahlstrom announced over winter break that the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies reaccredited the department.

“IACLEA and CALEA make sure our police department is following the best procedures,” Dahlstrom said. “They give us a set of standards, protect us in lawsuits and attempt to make sure the community trusts us and that we’re an accredited agency.”

Some of the standards address the use of deadly force, sexual harassment and bias-based profiling, requirements for training involving weapons proficiency and other standards concerning the management and operations of a public safety agency, IACLEA Director of Accreditation John Leonard said.

“Both the administration and agency have made a commitment not only to achieve the standards but to retain them,” Leonard said.

The University’s affiliation with IACLEA began in 2008 and in 2007 for CALEA.
The agencies inspect UTPD every three years to make sure they are meeting about 460 standards and also following five-year strategic plans created by Dahlstrom, who is a member of the IACLEA Accreditation Commission.

UT was fourth in the state to be accredited by both agencies, Dahlstrom said.

“Both organizations are known throughout the world, and IACLEA is specific for college law enforcement,” he said. “They’re both prestigious to have. It’s strenuous because it takes the entire department working year-round to meet the standards set by both agencies.”

UTPD is also accredited with CALEA, which sets standards specific for municipal and county departments, and they have joint accreditation, Dahlstrom said.

CALEA and IACLEA set professional standards that UTPD aspires to meet, said Lt. Amber Calvert, UTPD’s accreditation manager.

“We take those standards and craft our policies and procedures to achieve them,” Calvert said. “This is the what to do — not how to do it.”

IACLEA standards specific to college campuses include campus crime reporting, blue-light phones, safety escort services and video surveillance.

“The agencies help us formalize our processes,” Calvert said. “They help us with liability issues and also help us get out and work with the community more, which allows us to stay transparent.”

Department personnel constantly monitor their work to help with the affiliation process. For example, a recruiter is responsible for updating the recruiting plan and collecting information on those that apply, and an internal affairs lieutenant gathers information on complaints and publishes that information.