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I. CALEA History and Purpose

 The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) was initially created in 1979 to develop a set of management and operational standards designed to promote increased professionalism within the law enforcement community. This effort was led and supported by the International Association of Chiefs' of Police (IACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Police Executive Research Forum, and the National Sheriffs' Association.

II. Benefits of Accreditation

Specific and general benefits that may be derived from the accreditation process are:

1. Departmental Status in Law Enforcement Community
As one of the leading municipal police agencies in St. Louis County, it is incumbent upon the department to maintain its historical status in the region by adhering to the highest possible standards. This is particularly apt when other first tier municipal police agencies have elected to follow our lead.

2. Legal Liability
The adoption and maintenance of stringent operational standards, such as "Use of Force, Pursuits, Racial Profiling, Grievance Procedures, etc.", coupled with currently established analysis reports, audits and inspections, greatly lessen the department's exposure to public criticism and potential civil liability.

3. Improved Public Service and Image
By establishing a variety of community service programs, a comprehensive code of conduct, and a standardized, well documented citizen complaint process, the department not only illustrates its desire to be responsive to public needs and concerns, but also to identify potential personnel problems and training issues.

4. Supervisory Accountability
The various CALEA mandated inspections, reports, and reviews serve to ensure that commanders and supervisors are held accountable for those activities for which they are responsible, and that they have a duty not only to the organization but to their personnel as well.

5. Consistency in Department Operations
Well-defined policies and procedures, coupled with supervisory accountability, are designed to ensure that the application of enforcement, disciplinary, and regulatory power are effective, while being fair and equitable to both the general public and department staff.

6. Improved Management
The time-sensitive inspections, reports, audits, and analysis required by CALEA provide management with a useful tool to review facilities, equipment, personnel, training, and operational procedures. This allows for an evaluation of the department's current state of readiness, the identification and correction of deficiencies, and as a foundation for budget planning.

III. Department Accreditation Program

Dedicated to the concept of excellence in public service, the Clayton Police Department initially committed itself to accreditation in 1998. Following an extensive self-assessment process and on-site examination by a team of CALEA assessors, the department was accorded its initial accreditation on July 29, 2000. Since that time, department personnel have maintained full compliance with CALEA standards and successfully undergone re-accreditation reviews. Our last reaccreditation, which is our 5th, marks a highlight for the Clayton Police Department, as we achieved Meritorious Accreditation under a Gold Standard Assessment process.