Accreditation team to assess Southern Miss Police Department - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Accreditation team to assess Southern Miss Police Department

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

This is a news release from USM

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), will arrive on Monday, Dec. 1, to examine all aspects of the University of Southern Mississippi Police Department policy and procedures, management, operations and support services, Chief of Police Robert N. Hopkins announced today.

Verification by the team that University Police meets the Commission's state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain accreditation – a highly-prized recognition of public safety professional excellence, he said.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency personnel and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. The session will be conducted in Room “D” of the R. C. Cook Union on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.

If for some reason an individual cannot speak at the public information session but would still like to provide comments to the assessment team, he or she may do so by telephone. The public may call 601-266-4354 on Tuesday, Dec. 2, between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m.

Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with CALEA standards. The local contact is Captain Charles Chandler, at 601-266-6254.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the University of Southern Mississippi Police Department's ability to comply with the standards for accreditation should send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA ®), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155 or www.calea.org.

The University of Southern Mississippi Police Department has to comply with 189 standards in order to maintain accredited status, Chief Hopkins said. “Accreditation is a public recognition of the hard work and dedication of all our UPD employees, whatever their position.”

The CALEA Program Manager for the University of Southern Mississippi Police Department is Vincent Dauro. He said the assessment team is composed of public safety practitioners from similar, but out-of-state, agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals and visit offices and other locations where compliance can be witnessed.

The assessors are:

Team Leader – Assistant Chief William Buckbee, Kent State University Police Department Team Member – Lieutenant Darrell Birdett, University of Texas at Austin Police Department

Once the CALEA assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status, Program Manager Vincent Dauro stated.

Accreditation is for three years, during which the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. please write the Commission at: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA ®), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320

Gainesville, VA 20155 or e-mail calea@calea.org.

About The University of Southern Mississippi

Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to five teaching and research sites in Mississippi and through Online at Southern Miss. Since 2006, Southern Miss students have collected seven Goldwater Scholarships, three Truman Scholarships and 10 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Our Center for Undergraduate Research affords our students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, we conduct transformative research that translates into real-world solutions. As one of a select number of institutions in the nation accredited in art, dance, music and theatre, we are a haven for creativity and artistic expression. In the classroom or lab, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, we strive to have a positive impact not only on our students, but also the world around us. Further information is found at www.usm.edu.

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