Seal of Little Rock

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

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Office (501) 371-4421

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Contact(s): Jennifer Godwin | (o) 501 371 4421 | (c) 501 804 4822

Little Rock Police Department Earns Distinction of Excellence

Agency Receives Re-Accreditation with Honors

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 21, 2016) – The Little Rock Police Department has achieved one of the highest distinctions for a law enforcement agency in the world, earning an advanced accreditation with excellence designation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.

The re-accreditation, the sixth for the agency, was announced at the Board of Directors meeting Tuesday with a CALEA representative coming to Little Rock to present the honor.

“This speaks to the professionalism and standards we have in place as a police department,” City Manager Bruce T. Moore said. “We strive to be a national model for police operations, public safety and crime prevention practices. This distinction demonstrates that we are not only meeting but exceeding the standards, and our community is stronger because of the excellent work these brave men and women do every day.”

According to CALEA, just 1,100 of nearly 18,000 agencies are accredited. Of those that earn re-accreditation, very few are accredited with excellence.

For the Little Rock Police Department to earn the advanced level of accreditation, it had to demonstrate that it met 484 mandatory standards of law enforcement, from community policing to use of force. There are five phases of the process: application, self-assessment, on-site assessment, commission review and decision, and maintaining compliance and reaccreditation.

To be considered excellent, the Police Department met 94 percent of the other standards that were not mandatory.

“I am honored to lead a group of individuals who have been recognized for their hard work and commitment to the profession,” Police Chief Kenton Buckner said. “This advanced accreditation was only possible because of the quality of work they do day in and day out to make our city safe.”

Little Rock Police Department Lieutenant Mary Cook received special recognition from the organization for her 21 years of service to the law enforcement accreditation program.

Cook has been instrumental in the process since 1995, when the Police Department first brought in personnel from other agencies to help assess and prioritize in preparation for accreditation. The LRPD first earned accreditation in March 1998 when three assessors reviewed all of the department’s standards for compliance. Cook says each subsequent re-accreditation has been an intensive process that involves more than just looking at written policies. The in-depth approach includes everything from examining equipment to getting impromptu feedback from residents

CALEA Accreditation requires a preparedness program be put in place so that an agency is ready to address natural or man-made unusual occurrences. CALEA accreditation is a means for developing or improving upon an agency’s relationship with the community and strengthens an agency’s accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.

“To be looked at from the outside and evaluated really ensures that the public is being provided the service they deserve,” Cook said.

Along with Cook, the accreditation team includes Sergeant Gregg Godwin, Officer Dewana Phillips and Officer Jarrod Purifoy.

The next goal for the Little Rock Police Department is to earn the CALEA TRI-ARC Award, which is given to agencies that have achieved accreditation for their law enforcement, public safety communications and public safety training divisions.