What Is Police Department Accreditation?
The accreditation process is a voluntary, cooperative review of police processes with the goal of improving accountability, service delivery, and professionalism.
The standards themselves are simple, clear statements that establish best practices to help reduce losses and provide a strong defense against liability.
There are two accreditation programs in Connecticut: POSTC (Police Officers Standards & Training Council) and CALEA (The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies).
Agencies can pursue either the State Accreditation program through POSTC or an International Accreditation program through CALEA.
The State Accreditation, which is free of charge, offers a three tiered approach to achieving accredited status, allowing agencies to
choose the level and scope they wish to initially
CALEA provides a comprehensive approach to compliance, but both seek professional excellence. A department may choose to begin with the tiered state system, remain only State Accredited, or move on to International Accreditation through CALEA.
Should a department choose CALEA Accreditation first, dual accreditation through POSTC is easily obtained.
Why Pursue Accreditation?
Accreditation is the pursuit of excellence.
- Provides a powerful defense against civil lawsuits.
- Provides greater accountability and competency in daily operations.
- Ensures that policies and procedures are consistent and comprehensive.
- Increases opportunity for success in State and Federal grant applications.
- Provides an enterprise risk management program for your agency.
The recognition achieved through POSTC and CALEA accreditation—
- Instills pride.
- Creates respect and support from outside officials.
- Builds confidence, advocacy, and support within the community.
What Accreditation Isn't
Some myths dispelled:
- POSTC and CALEA accreditation isn’t expensive or manpower-intensive. Departments benefit immediately by leveraging the professional police knowledge embodied in the standards.
- Accreditation isn’t just paper-shuffling. Rather, it guides departments in evaluating and improving their work-flows and processes.
- The age or the layout of your facilities isn’t an obstacle to accreditation. Your facilities and processes are evaluated against standards for service delivery.
POSTC & CALEA:
Basic Goals & Outcomes
POSTC’s standards are composed of three tiers. The
first tier, Liability Standards, helps police agencies
better protect themselves, their employees, and their
governing entities from liability exposure, as well as
The second tier, Professional
Standards, addresses legal requirements, management,
The third tier, General Management, further expands upon the second tier, addressing legal
requirements, management, and operations. Similarly,
CALEA also offers a graduated approach of accreditation
and advanced accreditation.
CALEA’s goals are to:
- Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities.
- Formalize essential management procedures.
- Establish fair, non-discriminatory personnel
- Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination.
- Increase community and staff confidence in the
Both POSTC and CALEA enable law enforcement
agencies to achieve professional excellence.
Download the full brochure as a PDF
For more information on accreditation, please contact CONNPAC, the Connecticut Police Accreditation Coalition, www.connpac.org:
- Thomas Kulhawik, President – Chief of Police, Norwalk
- Thomas Pyrcz, Vice President – Enfield Police Department
- Susan Zecca, Secretary – Deputy Chief of Police, Norwalk
- Linda Carlin, Treasurer – Farmington Police Department