Wilmette police set Dec. 5 CALEA accreditation session

Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 06:54:50 PM. Wilmette's police department hopes to be re-accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA, after a Dec. 5 public hearing on the department's adherence to professional standards.

Wilmette police are once again seeking accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, and have asked village residents to give their comments about the department to a two-person commission auditing team during a Dec. 5 public hearing.

The department has been accredited by the commission, known as CALEA, since 1986, former Wilmette Police Chief Brian King said in 2015.

This year's hearing, set for 5:30 p.m. at Wilmette Village Hall, 1200 Wilmette Ave., is part of a review process undertaken by the department every three years, according to Wilmette Police Chief Kyle Murphy, who said the department must meet more than 400 professional standards to keep its accreditation.

"By voluntarily submitting ourselves to the accreditation process, we are assuring the community and ourselves that we are providing services while meeting accepted practices," Murphy said in a statement. "Roughly only a quarter of all law enforcement agencies are accredited, so this step assures the community that our officers are providing top of the line services."

Residents, village employees and others with an interest in sending information to CALEA can also provide input via fax, at (847) 256-2739, until Dec. 7, according to the village. Written comments about the department's ability to comply with commission standards can be sent to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Gainsville, Va., 20155.

Gary Vest, chief of the Powell, Ohio, police department, is part of the two-person team coming to Wilmette on behalf of CALEA next month. Vest will visit Wilmette along with Jeffrey Dodson, a lieutenant with the Culpeper police department in Culpeper, Va., according to the Wilmette Police Department.

The CALEA website states that the commission was founded in 1979. Member agencies come from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Barbados, according to the website.

According to the website, CALEA's mission is to help law enforcement agencies maintain high standards in crime prevention and control capabilities, management procedures, fair and non-discriminatory personnel practices, inter-agency cooperation, service delivery and community confidence.

"We like to hear from the community," Vest said. "The CALEA process is really an effort to maintain professional standards for law enforcement, and the departments that tend to become involved are the ones seeking professional excellence, who are willing to be held to a high standard by their profession."

Murphy said that in addition to the Dec. 5 session, people can also speak with a CALEA assessor by phone from 1-3 p.m. that day. The phone number to call during that time is (847) 920-3570, he said in his written statement.

The final decision by CALEA, taken after the on-site visit, review by CALEA of department materials, and a departmental self review, will be announced at the next scheduled CALEA conference in March 2018, according to the Wilmette Police Department.

Anyone with questions concerning CALEA, the accreditation process or information on standards the group uses to make its decisions can contact Syndy Nugent, the Wilmette department's management analyst, at (847) 853-7565, or at .

Twitter: @pioneer_kathy

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