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Culpeper Police Department Awarded National Advanced Re-Accreditation with Meritorious Achievement by CALEA

The Culpeper Police Department earned its sixth national advanced accreditation certification following a panel interview on March 26, 2021. Only 10% of Virginia's agencies are accredited with CALEA and even fewer obtain advanced accredited status.

The Culpeper Police Department earned its sixth national advanced accreditation certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) following a panel interview by CALEA commissioners at CALEA's virtual conference held March 26, 2021. This sixth award was with Meritorious Achievement for the Culpeper Police Department's long history of following established best practices in all areas of law enforcement. 

Culpeper Police Chief Chris R. Jenkins, Major Chris Settle, and Support Manager Stacey Nicholson appeared before a three-member panel of commissioners to answer questions about the department and its operations. The commissioners reviewed the assessment report prepared in November by a two-member team of law enforcement professionals from outside of Virginia led by Assessment Team Leader Dr. Michael Webb, Senior Core Faculty Member at Capella's School of Public Service and Leadership and retired from a 37-year law enforcement career. Dr. Webb, along with Lieutenant Daniel Clark of the Suwanee Police Department in Georgia, reviewed department compliance with specified standards. 

The 25-page assessment report was written by Dr. Webb after conducting 31 interviews regarding all areas of law enforcement and reviewing policies, practices and procedures. The Culpeper Police Department voluntarily requested that the assessment team focus on the agency's Use of Force Policies and Reporting, Officer Wellness, Technology, Recruitment and Retention, and Community Outreach. 

The three member CALEA Commissioner Panel was Sheriff Kevin Joyce of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department, Chief Marlon Lynch of the Michigan State University Police Department, and Colonel Matthew Packard of the Colorado State Patrol. CALEA is a voluntary international program that demonstrates a department's commitment to excellence, while serving its citizens and showing that the agency is meeting nationally established best practices for law enforcement agencies. 

In order to achieve CALEA advanced accreditation, the Culpeper Police Department is required to meet the tough 484 standards outlined by CALEA. Culpeper Police Department is required to establish written directives for these standards and to prove compliance with those written directives. 

“This award of advanced accreditation does not come easy,” said CALEA President Anthony Purcell, Chief of Police at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “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 advanced accreditation, the agency commits to an ongoing review of adherence to CALEA's standards. Each community with CALEA advanced 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.” 

In Virginia there are 340 law enforcement agencies. Only 34 of these agencies are accredited with CALEA and even fewer obtain advanced accredited.

“CALEA accreditation is truly the gold standard in public safety and a true testament to the hard work that the men and women of this agency do each day in our community. Especially during these trying times,” stated Chief Chris Jenkins. “CALEA accreditation is a report card to our community from outside subject matter experts that shows that the Culpeper Police Department is meeting nationally established best practices for law enforcement agencies. We are thankful to have such a supportive community who embraces the CALEA accreditation process. We will continue to evaluate the services we deliver, meet with citizens and stakeholders of our community, and listen to them in an continuing effort to make us a better law enforcement agency.” 

CALEA Executive Director W. Craig Hartley Jr. will publicly present the CALEA Advanced Re-Accreditation Certification with Meritorious Achievement at the Town Council meeting on May 11, 2021 at 7PM.

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