Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, March 8, 2012

DPS accreditation assessment team invites public comment

Faculty, staff, students and visitors at U-M are invited to comment later this month on the activities and policies of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) as part of a national accreditation assessment, DPS Interim Chief Joseph Piersante announced Wednesday.

A team of out-of-state assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) will be on campus later this month to examine all aspects of DPS' policies, procedures, management, operations and support services, Piersante said.

In 2009, when DPS was granted its initial accreditation, it was the first department in the Big Ten Conference to be accredited. Of the more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the state, DPS was the 10th agency with current accreditation.

"In order to achieve continued accreditation, our department must show it complies with almost 500 standards," Piersante said. "Accreditation is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence. Our staff has worked very hard during the past three years to ensure that we maintain our accreditation status."

In order for DPS to remain accredited by CALEA, the assessment team will verify that the department meets the commission's professional standards by reviewing written materials, conducting interviews with department staff and university members, and visiting offices and other campus locations.

As part of the on-site assessment, members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session at 5 p.m. March 26. The session will be conducted in the Kipke Conference Center within the Campus Safety Services Building at 1239 Kipke Drive, just east of Crisler Center.

Individuals who are unable to attend the public information session may provide comments by telephone or in writing. To comment by phone, call 734-615-8886 on March 26 between 1-3 p.m. Those wishing to offer written comments are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainsville, VA, 20155.

Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with CALEA's standards. A copy of the standards is available for review at the DPS main office at 1239 Kipke Drive, Ann Arbor.

The team of assessors is scheduled to be Assistant Chief Dean Tondiglia (Kent State University Police Department) and Executive Director Geoffrey Ice (Connecticut State Police Academy Alumni Educational Foundation Inc).

Once the CALEA assessors complete their review of DPS, they will report to the full commission, which then will decide if reaccreditation is to be granted. Reaccreditation is for three years.

For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. please write the Commission at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainsville, Virginia, 20155; call 703-352-4225; or visit www.calea.org.