The Salina Police Department (SPD) has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) since 1996. The SPD is proud to be one of 729 nationally accredited agencies, and one of only 11 agencies in Kansas to bare that distinction. CALEA accreditation increases community advocacy, provides stronger defense against civil lawsuits, reduces risk and liability exposure, provides for support from government officials, and allows for greater accountability within the agency.
In order for the SPD to become a nationally accredited agency, the agency must show compliance with 158 standards and provide 451 proofs pertaining to those standards over a four year cycle. Every year the department has at least 25 percent of its 137 polices reviewed remotely by an assessor from CALEA to ensure compliance with the standards associated with those policies. Every fourth year, a team of assessors conducts an onsite review of the agency in order to provide a recommendation to CALEA on whether or not the agency should be reaccredited for another four year period.
In February of 2020, two assessors from CALEA traveled to Salina for the on-site assessment. Prior to the on-site assessment, the team thoroughly reviewed all of the previous four years off-site assessments. The on-site assessment included the following:
An in-depth review of four focus areas that included: 1) Use of Force, 2) Recruitment and Retention, 3) Property and 4) Evidence, and Training. These four areas of focus were chosen by the SPD. The assessment team did an extensive review of the department’s policies, procedures, and practices associated with these areas.
Interviews with 28 members of the department and community, including: representatives from the Salina City Commissioners, USD 305 school administrators, local business owners, local media, and various other community members. The public was afforded the opportunity to speak to the assessment team in-person at a public forum held at the City-County Building and anonymously during a separate phone in session held on February 25, 2020. At the conclusion of these interviews the team leader stated, “Community members were impressed with the agency’s professionalism, commitment to service, and outreach to the community. They commended the agency for its proactive strategies and best practices to address the issues associated with crime, traffic, and quality of life.”
On July 31, 2020, the SPD went before the CALEA Board for their review hearing for re-accreditation status. Prior to the hearing the four member board had an opportunity to review the team leader’s final report. During the hearing they had an opportunity to directly ask questions to Chief Nelson and the Accreditation Manager, Capt. Paul Forrester. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies unanimously voted to award the SPD accreditation for the 8th time. The Commission commended the SPD on its continued efforts to remain an accredited agency, its professionalism, and dedication to the community it serves.