In 2016, the La Plata Police Department began a voluntary process to strive for accredited status from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), a highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence. Since that time, the department has undergone a critical self-assessment, creating and revising policies and standard operating procedures in accordance with CALEA’s nationally recognized standards and best practices.

On March 26, 2018, a team of external law enforcement assessors from CALEA will be arriving in La Plata for a three-day visit, during which time they will be examining all aspects of the department’s policies, procedures, management, operations and support services. The assessment team will be seeking to verify that the department meets the 189 different state of the art standards established by the Commission. If awarded accreditation status, the recognition will be for four years, during which time the department will need to submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with the Commission’s standards, which are subject to ongoing review and revision in accordance with nationally recognized practices.

In regards to this effort, Chief Carl Schinner commented, “I am incredibly proud of the relationships that we have with the community and of the work that the men and women of the La Plata Police Department do every day to keep our community safe. We have undertaken this important initiative to look at all aspects of our organization in order to evaluate how we presently do things and how we can improve. This process will insure that we are operating consistent with nationally accepted standards and at the highest level possible in providing policing services.”

As part of this onsite assessment, agency personnel and members of the community are invited to offer comments to the assessment team at a public forum on March 27, 2018 at 6:00 PM. The forum is being held at the Town of La Plata Town Hall, 305 Queen Anne Street, La Plata, MD. Those who are unable to attend the public session, but would like to provide comments to the assessment team, may do so by calling 240-216-4041 on March 27, 2018 between the hours of 1pm and 3pm. Written comments about the department’s ability to meet the standards for accreditation may be sent to the Commission at: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA®), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, Virginia 20155.

Public and telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes and must address the department’s ability to comply with the CALEA Standards. A copy of the standards is available at the La Plata Police Department, 101 La Grange Avenue, La Plata, MD. Questions or clarifications may be obtained by contacting Lieutenant Michael Payne, Accreditation Manager, at 301.934.1500 or mpayne@townoflaplata.org.

For more information regarding CALEA, please write the Commission at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, Virginia 20155; or call (703) 352-4225 or email calea@calea.org