Bethel Police Earn Law Enforcement Accreditation Award
Thursday, March 12, 2020
By Chris Gilson, CCM communications writer
With the success of CCM’s Connecticut Certified Municipal Official (CCMO) program and Sustainable CT, it’s obvious that the urge to learn and keep working towards goals never stops for public officials. That is also true of our Public Safety officers. Late last year, the Bethel Police Department earned its second Law Enforcement Accreditation Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
According to their website, “the purpose of CALEA is to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of professional standards that support the administration of accreditation programs.”
Police Departments such as Bethels can voluntarily apply for accreditation by meeting “an established set of professional standards.” These include: comprehensive and uniform written directives that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities; reports and analyses to make fact-based and informed management decisions; preparedness to address natural or man-made critical incidents; community relationship-building and maintenance; independent review by subject matter experts; and continuous pursuit of excellence through annual reviews and other assessment measures.
Bethel's high standards back to top
In June of 2019, representatives from CALEA conducted a site based assessment of the Bethel Police department to find out if the BPD was in compliance and up to standards, and at that time the community was invited to offer comments to the assessment team during a public session.
After this assessment period, it was determined that Bethel had lived up to the high standards of their organization
Accreditation lasts for four years and Bethel had already achieved this in 2015, 2011, and 2007. According to the Danbury News Times, only 19 other municipal departments in the state have achieved this honor.
The benefits touted by CALEA include increased community advocacy, staunch support from government officials, stronger defense against civil suits, reduced risk and liability exposure, and greater accountability within the agency, and police chiefs from around the country speak to these benefits as the roadmap to running a successful department.
Chief Wayne McCoy of the Blue Springs, MO Police Department said that “accreditation is a test of being the best. […] Through our CALEA Accreditation process, we focus on being the agency that provides consistent quality service over time and anticipates the future.”
Now that Bethel Police Department has received its 2019 re-accreditation, it too can look forward to the future of law enforcement and public safety, and it can do so knowing that it carries with it the best practices and highest standards.