The New York City Police Department’s Police Academy has become the first of any major department in the country, and only the ninth anywhere, to win accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
"Very few police academies in the world have gone through the 3 to 4 year painstaking review process to win accreditation. With one exception, none of the big city police academies in the United States have achieved this distinction. This year the Police Academy of the New York City Police Department became the only big city police academy in the United States and only the 9th of any size in the world to be so recognized, "said CALEA Commissioner Gary J. Margolis at the Police Academy graduation ceremonies today.
"This singular achievement represents a great deal of hard work and dedication by Deputy Commissioner for Training Charles DeRienzo and the entire staff of the Police Academy, and by the late Dr. James Fyfe, the former Deputy Commissioner for Training, who was a pioneering advocate of accreditation," said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies was formed in 1979 by the four major law enforcement executive associations: The International Association of Chiefs of Police; The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; The Police Executive Research Forum; and the National Sheriff’s Association.
"Our single, guiding purpose is to improve the delivery of public safety services to communities around the world, primarily by maintaining a body of standards, developed by practitioners, which identify excellence in law enforcement services; police training; and communications operations," Commissioner Margolis said. "CALEA is about continuous improvement, a concept long-embraced and well practiced by the New York City Police Department."
The Commission accredits police agencies, training academies and communication centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Barbados.
The accreditation process for the New York City Police Academy began in 2002 and concluded last month. It included in-debt reviews of its certification of instructors, recruitment and selection of applicants, instructional systems, program development, etc.
In the describing the Police Academy, the Commission reported that "Today, the academy conducts more than five million man-hours of training annually. Recruit officers receive six months of training to prepare them for the ever evolving law enforcement profession, within the most dynamic and diverse city in the world. Recruit officers are prepared to detect, deter and respond to acts of terrorism, including nuclear, biological ands chemical attack. However, the academy is committed to ensure that traditional law enforcement training remains a staple of the curriculum."
Other police training programs to win accreditation include the Honolulu Police Department, Kansas City Police Department, Knoxville Police Department, as well as regional police training centers in California, Ohio, Washington, Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois.