The Virginia Tech Police Department has been awarded the highest accreditation possible from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) for its public safety services and management professionalism.
Chief of Police and Director of Security Kevin L. Foust and Deputy Chief of Police and Assistant Director of Security William “Mac” M. Babb, III accepted the award following the final review held at the CALEA conference in Miami, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Virginia Tech is one of only 69 university police departments accredited across the country and one of only 13 university police departments to have earned the “Meritorious Advanced Accreditation with Excellence.”
During the review, Commissioner Curtis L. Holt, the city manager of Wyoming, Michigan, publicly complimented the Virginia Tech Police Department saying that the review team had not noted a single area of concern during their review of the department.
By seeking accreditation through CALEA, the Virginia Tech Police Department has voluntarily submitted to a rigorous review process designed to demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement. This year was the first year the department was evaluated under the Gold Standard Assessment methodology and the first time the department has earned CALEA’s “Accreditation with Excellence” award.
The reaccreditation is the seventh for Virginia Tech. The department has been awarded re-accreditation every three years since it was first accredited in 1995. To qualify for reaccreditation, the department voluntarily adheres to 489 professional standards in policies and procedures, administration, operations, and support services.
"Earning the gold standard accreditation is a true reflection of the professionalism and customer service the Virginia Tech Police Department consistently delivers to the campus community," said Sherwood G. Wilson, vice president for administration. "It's especially notable that the department succeeded not only in meeting the standards to earn a seventh re-accreditation, but received not even a single recommendation for improvement."
As part of the accreditation process, officials from CALEA visited Virginia Tech in June 2015 to examine all aspects of the Virginia Tech Police Department. As part of the on-site assessment, Virginia Tech employees and community members had the opportunity to offer comments at a public information session and by telephone.
The accreditation assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from accredited out-of-state agencies. The assessors review written materials, interview individuals, and visit offices and other locations where compliance can be witnessed.
During its three-year accreditation award cycle, the agency must maintain compliance with applicable standards, keep its proofs of compliance up-to-date, and live by the letter and spirit of those standards. To retain its accredited status, the agency is required to submit an annual report to CALEA. The police department will have the next on-site assessment in 2019.
The Virginia Tech Police Department is charged with the safety of more than 31,000 students and 13,000 full-and-part time employees on the university’s 700+ acre main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The department employees 50 sworn officers and 25 civilian employees and shares joint jurisdiction with the Blacksburg Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.