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Virginia Tech Police seeks reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies; public comment invited as part of process


BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 3, 2012 – An assessment team representing the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) will visit Virginia Tech beginning Sunday, Aug. 12 to document and verify the Virginia Tech Police Department meets or exceeds all professional standards as part of a voluntary process to gain reaccreditation.

All aspects of the Virginia Tech Police Department, including its policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services, will be reviewed by the assessment team during their visit.

The accreditation assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar but out-of-state agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals, and visit offices and other locations where compliance can be witnessed. Chief Paul Willingham of the University of Houston-Clear Lake Police Department, and Deputy Chief Paul Kopreski of the University of New Hampshire Police Department, will serve as assessors.

“Being an accredited agency recognizes that our police department conforms to the highest professional standards specific to campus law enforcement,” said Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum. “We must continuously meet these high standards to fulfill our mission to protect Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff.”

As part of the on-site visit, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session to be held Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Individuals unable to attend the public information session may provide comment by calling 540-231-5876 on Monday, Aug. 13 between 1 and 3 p.m.

Telephone comments and 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; email Denise Linkenhoker, administrative coordinator for the Virginia Tech Police Department and accreditation manager.

Written comments on the department’s ability to meet the standards for accreditation may be sent to: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, VA 20155.

Once the commission’s assessors complete their review of an agency, a report will be issued to the full commission, which then decides if the agency is to be granted accredited status.

Accreditation is for three years, during which the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with those standards under which it was originally accredited.

This will be the fifth re-accreditation process for the Virginia Tech Police Department after receiving its initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Incorporated in 1995. The department is also accredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

For information on CALEA, contact them at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, VA 20155; or call 703-352-4225.