The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Public department safety passes accreditation process

A team comprised of national law enforcement assessors is going to recommend that the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators accredit the CSUN Department of Public Safety.

Three representatives from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies arrived on campus April 6 to review the police department’s policies.

“Everything met all of the standards and the criteria,” said John Jacobs, an assessor from the University of Richmond Police Department. “They were a very sharp, well put together agency from top to bottom.”

The team’s assessment lasted for two days, and it included a ride-along with campus police as well as interviews with department staff.

Jacobs confirmed they would make a recommendation for accreditation to the IACLEA commission.

He said he was particularly impressed with the coordination between the different divisions of the department, the equipment available to officers and the K-9 units.

CSUN’s police department, if accredited, will be recognized as a law enforcement agency that follows the highest professional standards as it relates to training officers, handling evidence, dealing with traffic control, among other things.

CSUN Chief of Police Anne Glavin said the assessors gave her some feedback before they left campus on Wednesday.

“They told us that it was just an outstanding effort, and they consider us to be amongst the best of the departments that are accredited in the country, which is an enormously high compliment,” Glavin said.

“We’re all 10 feet off the ground here,” said Glavin. “We’re pretty happy.”

CSUN’s police department is in the process of improving past policies and adding new policies for the last four years in an effort to qualify as an IACLEA agency.

The department had to make sure they were in compliance with 275 standards implemented by IACLEA. They later have to show proof they have a policy in place for each standard and that they are actually doing what is required of their policy.

Team leader Tom Younce from the North Carolina State University Police Department, said there were no need for CSUN police department officials to make any major revisions.

“There may be some things we ask an agency to rewrite, to change maybe some wording in a policy that says they’re doing one thing, but in practice they’re doing something else?and that was not necessary at Cal State,” Younce said.

But the process of accreditation does not entail simply looking through paperwork, said Younce.

“You look at the police cars. You look to see if they are properly equipped. You talk to the officers to find out if they’re knowledgeable of their job and find out more about how the operation runs,” he said.

A department’s policy concerning use of force is one particular area that assessors look into while on campus.

Assessors are looking to see how an agency goes about administering use of force and that officers know the Constitution when applying search and seizure methods, said Younce.

IACLEA’s Accreditation Coordinator Jack Leonard said standards end up building trust within a department.

“Through the process of self-assessment, an agency is able to address virtually all of the issues that they will need to be concerned with,” Leonard said.

One goal for CSUN was to improve the department’s facility. The old police station was located on the first floor of a student housing building.

Those quarters would not have passed as acceptable during an assessment, said Glavin.

“We didn’t have the right facility for really good storage of narcotics and weapons. All of that stuff should be separated and it wasn’t,” said Glavin.

Younce said he has been assessing police departments for 20 years and “there’s not too many…that are better” than what he saw at CSUN.

Younce will send a report that reviews everything within the department and the team’s recommendation. IACLEA’s commission will make the final decision and send an official notification to CSUN by May.

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