Upper Arlington News

Aug. 20 public meeting

Comments sought as UA police seek accreditation

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

An international organization that recognizes top law enforcement agencies will host a public meeting next week to garner input regarding the Upper Arlington Police Division.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. will host a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 20 in the lower level of the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road.

The meeting is designed to allow the public to comment to CALEA assessors who are compiling information to determine if the UAPD once again will be granted reaccreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.

CALEA is a credentialing authority through joint efforts of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs' Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. Its accreditation program, which maintains 482 standards that participating law enforcement agencies strive to meet, is designed to improve the delivery of public safety services.

The public input session also is a follow-up to an online survey the UAPD conducted last winter, which solicited ratings of local police on everything from neighborhood patrols and traffic law enforcement to emergency response times and community outreach and education programming.

CALEA grants accreditation to qualifying agencies for three-year periods. The UAPD originally obtained CALEA accreditation in 1993 and has maintained it since that time.

"It's an ongoing process," UAPD Lt. Paul Schaumburg said. "We actually are doing something toward reaccreditation every day.

"It's a way of doing business. There are 482 standards we have to meet and they come in every conceivable aspect of law enforcement."

For the past three years, Lt. Ernie Ankrom has led the division's reaccreditation efforts. He was unavailable for comment Aug. 9, but Schaumburg said Ankrom has been integral in keeping the division on track toward maintaining the designation.

According to CALEA's website, the accreditation program seeks to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by maintaining a body of standards developed by public safety practitioners.

The program's goals, the website states, include strengthening crime prevention and control, formalizing management procedures, establishing fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices and increasing community and staff confidence in law enforcement agencies.

CALEA assessors will be available to talk with members of the public at the Aug. 20 event.

"It's open to anyone who wants to come in and speak to the assessors who will be on-site," Schaumburg said. "Whether it's positive or negative, we welcome any input."

In addition to the public meeting, those wishing to comment or ask questions related to law enforcement or the voluntary accreditation process can do so via telephone from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 21. Assessors will be available by calling 614-583-5012.

Those who wish to offer written comments also can do so by writing: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155, or by emailing calea@CALEA.org with "Upper Arlington, Ohio On-Site" in the subject line.