The College of Charleston Department of Public Safety recently obtained international accreditation as a law enforcement agency through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The College is one of five accredited campus law enforcement agencies in South Carolina recognized for meeting CALEA’s rigorous standards.

“CALEA standards are recognized as the gold standard for law enforcement throughout the world,” says College of Charleston Police Chief Chip Searson.  “We believe that obtaining CALEA accreditation demonstrates our commitment and dedication to excellence in law enforcement.”

The purpose of CALEA’s accreditation programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of standards developed by public safety practitioners internationally. As part of this process, the department is required to maintain 181 standards that provide best practices related to life, health and safety procedures. These standards are considered foundational for contemporary law enforcement agencies.

Searson says CALEA accreditation in law enforcement is similar to accreditation of other fields such as medical care, law and other professions. It means the College of Charleston Department of Public Safety has met specific standards of excellence and operates according to norms established by international law enforcement practitioners.

Once a department becomes accredited, it must submit annual progress and compliance reports to CALEA to stay accredited. The College of Charleston will undergo a new reassessment in three years.