Lynchburg Police Department Awarded CALEA Accreditation
NEWS RELEASE: The Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) has been awarded national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®).
In 1989, the Lynchburg Police Department was the seventh municipal law enforcement agency in Virginia, and the 124th law enforcement agency in the United States to achieve accreditation through CALEA. CALEA accreditation serves as the foundation for a successful, well-managed, transparent, community-focused law enforcement agency. On Nov. 20, 2021, the LPD was awarded this honor for the tenth time. The 2021 CALEA Commission’s Final Assessment Report on the LPD is available online at https://www.lynchburgvapolice.gov/transparency-2/.
“This is a proud moment for our community and the Lynchburg Police Department,” said Chief Ryan Zuidema. “Our employees work hard every single day to best partner with and protect the people of Lynchburg. Achieving a 10th CALEA accreditation reinforces our commitment to excellence and to consistently go above and beyond in service to the public.”
The CALEA process involves a voluntary, multi-year self-assessment phase and then a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagements, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the panel of independent assessors also conducted remote, web-based file reviews with LPD personnel, as well as conducted the public comment session virtually in August.
In the final report, the CALEA assessors lauded the LPD for its thorough and current practices as well as the department’s response to riots and community engagement activities. The assessors did not identify any issues with governing standards during their assessment.
Achieving CALEA accreditation benefits include greater accountability within an agency, as accreditation standards provide a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision-making and resource allocation. Accredited status increases community advocacy as it embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which police and citizens work together to prevent and control crime. This partnership helps citizens understand the challenges confronting law enforcement and gives law enforcement clear direction about community expectations. Accreditation also aids in improved employee morale as it symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence among its personnel. It requires written directives and training to inform employees about policies and practices; facilities and equipment to ensure employee safety; and processes to safeguard employee rights. Employees take pride in their agency, knowing it represents the very best in public safety.
“This award of accreditation does not come easy,” said CALEA President Anthony Purcell, Chief of Police, University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department. “Agencies must go through a rigorous review and evaluation of their organization and then implement the necessary policy and procedure changes. The process does not stop at that point. By voluntarily choosing to seek CALEA accreditation, the agency commits to an ongoing review of adherence to CALEA’s standards. Each community with CALEA accredited agencies should be feel confident that their public safety organization is going above and beyond and operating under the highest standards in public safety.”
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA); and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).