The University of Houston Police Department has begun the process to become accredited with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).
Accreditation, a voluntary procedure, embodies the idea of community-oriented policing, creating a forum in which campus police and the campus community work together to prevent and control crime. Accreditation also assures the University of Houston community that the department adheres to current best practices. It provides greater accountability with a proven management system of written directives and routine reports that support decision-making and resource allocation. Accreditation also provides department personnel with greater and well-deserved recognition of their professionalism, competence and excellence.
There are five stages in the accreditation process: inquiry and application, compliance development and review, agency evaluation, commission review and maintenance. IACLEA standards address 18 major campus law enforcement subjects, including conduct and professional standards, training and professional development, crime prevention and community involvement, and critical incident management. During the accreditation process, expert assessors will review the department’s policies and procedures. The University of Houston Police Department is currently in the time-consuming process of reviewing and rewriting its policies to be in accordance with more than 200 standards.
Achieving accreditation is a highly significant accomplishment, representing hard work and a department’s commitment to instituting the highest professional practices in campus public safety management, operations and support services. Chief Ceaser Moore Jr. expects to obtain accreditation by July 2014. Accreditation with IACLEA is normally a 2-3 year process, but Chief Moore has dedicated personnel to the process in hopes of having it completed much sooner. Currently, less than 10 of Texas’ 59 university police departments are accredited by IACLEA.