TUPD hopes for accreditation in summer

Temple Police has been working to become accredited since 2014.

A family is suing four Temple Police officers who allegedly caused serious injury to a 17-year-old outside Pearl Theater in 2016. | JOCELYN BURNS / FILE PHOTO

Temple Police hopes to find out if it will become an accredited police force in August 2018 — later than it anticipated.

Joe Garcia, the deputy chief of administration of Campus Safety Services, told The Temple News in March that the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies’ decision would be announced this month.

But this date was pushed back because Temple Police had to postpone its on-site evaluation, which was scheduled for June.

In May, Temple Police conducted its own assessment of the police force before the scheduled CALEA evaluation in June. The police force was not ready for an on-site evaluation by representatives from CALEA and is working to meet all of the organization’s standards, Garcia added.

The on-site visit has not been scheduled yet, but Garcia said he hopes to have that done by August 2018 and to find out if TUPD will be accredited shortly after that.

“We had everything in,” Garcia said. “But there were a few standards that we need to work on and dig real deep on.”

Garcia said the force didn’t have enough “in-depth” information together “on paper” to present about the police force’s work for CALEA at the on-site evaluation, which is why Temple Police decided to push back the evaluation.

“Our department has many things occurring all the time that we handle, but putting that thing on paper is another thing,” he said. “But we have to be able to tell a story put it in report form and realize that it is not about us patting ourselves on the back [but] really show on paper everything that we do and how we score it for multiple years over time.”

CALEA is an international credentialing authority. Temple Police has been working toward accreditation since May 2014. CALEA assesses the agency’s policies and procedures through a self-evaluation, an on-site evaluation and a committee review of Temple Police.

At the on-site evaluation, representatives from CALEA visit the police force and determine if it meets its standards. Representatives will review its operations, conduct a public information session and report its findings back to the commission.

Then, the commission, which meets three times a year, will determine if a police force will be accredited at a public hearing. If it meets CALEA’s standards, the police force will receive a three-year accreditation status.

If Temple Police is accredited, it will have to submit its status report to CALEA each year to maintain accreditation status.

“We have to be able to show a clear picture of what we do here and how successful we have been and then the areas were not successful in, what we’re doing to improve upon those areas that need to be improved upon,” Garcia said.

The University of Pennsylvania’s police force has been CALEA accredited since 2001 and was the first university police force in the state to do so, according to its website.

“CALEA made us better in that we have to be better at telling the story of everything that we do capturing everything that we do,” Garcia said.

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