Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
OSBI became Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) certified in July 2002, re-accredited in July 2005, and honored with Flagship Agency designation during the second re-accreditation in July 2008.
The OSBI is one of only a few Oklahoma law enforcement agencies in the state with such accreditation. Out of the 17,799 law enforcement agencies in the nation, less than 600 are CALEA accredited. That is because it is a very difficult process.
Comments by assessors during 2008 reaccreditation:
“The OSBI is recognized within the state as a valuable and reliable asset to assist in major investigations and provide critical services that are beyond the capabilities of a local agency. The agency is staffed by dedicated, committed, and highly trained professionals.”
CALEA Accreditation does the following:
• Strengthens an agency’s accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.
• Limits an agency’s liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that internationally recognized standards for law enforcement have been met, as verified by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.
• Requires an agency to develop a comprehensive, well thought out, uniform set of written directives. This is one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.
• Provides the necessary reports and analyses a CEO needs to make fact-based, informed management decisions.
The CALEA® Flagship Agency Program is designed to acknowledge CALEA Accredited public safety agencies that have demonstrated success in the accreditation process. The Flagship Agency designation is effective for the duration of the current award period.
A Flagship Agency must meet the following minimum criteria:
• Must have a minimum of two previous consecutive accreditation awards.
• Must not have conditions or noncompliance issues on most recent past award.
• Must not have noncompliance issues, or be recommended for conditions on current assessment.
• Current Assessment Report must have limited file maintenance and applied discretion issues.
• Current Assessment Report must not have issues involving life, safety, and security standards.
American Crime Laboratory Director's Association
In the fall of 1973, a small group of some thirty crime laboratory directors, geographically representing the country, met in Quantico, Virginia. Although called there by Clarence Kelly, Director of the FBI, it was Briggs White, Director of the FBI Laboratory, who, by his desire to bring local laboratories and the FBI Laboratory together, made it all possible. At this meeting, a steering committee under the able chairmanship of Richard Fox, was formed and met in Kansas City in the spring of 1974. A constitution was drafted, and, in the fall of 1974, in Quantico, at the first meeting, ASCLD was born. Chairman - Briggs White, FBI; Vice Chairman - Richard Fox, Missouri; Secretary - Atley Peterson, ATF; Treasurer - Larry Howard, Georgia. On February 18, 1976, ASCLD became ASCLD, Inc.
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) is a nonprofit professional society devoted to the improvement of crime laboratory operations through sound management practices. Its purpose is to foster the common professional interests of its members; to promote and foster the development of laboratory management principles and techniques; to acquire, preserve and disseminate information related to the utilization of crime laboratories; to maintain and improve communications among crime laboratory directors; to promote, encourage and maintain the highest standards of practice in the field of crime laboratory services; and to strive for the suitable and proper accomplishment of the purposes and objectives of this professional association.
The Crime Laboratory Accreditation Program of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)is a voluntary program in which any crime laboratory may participate to demonstrate that its management, operations, personnel, procedures, equipment, physical plant, security, and personnel safety procedures meet established standards. The accreditation process is part of a laboratory's quality assurance program which should also include proficiency testing, continuing education and other programs to help the laboratory give better overall service to the criminal justice system. The process of self-evaluation which leads to accreditation is in itself a valuable management tool for the crime laboratory director.
Benefits of Law Enforcement Accreditation
Accreditation demonstrates the commitment of the agency to professionalism in terms of adherence to a body of standards.
Accreditation assures the community that its law enforcement agency is committed to high quality service and that its policies and procedures are effective and responsive on the one hand, and fair and equitable on the other.
Accreditation enhances community understanding of the law enforcement agency's role as well as its goals and objectives.
Accreditation commits the agency to a broad range of programs of direct benefit to the public as well as to programs to cope with man-made or natural disasters. Accreditation promotes community cooperation and understanding.
Accreditation requires an in-depth review of every aspect of an agency's organization, management, operations and administration including:
- Establishment of agency goals and objectives with provision for periodic updating;
- Re-evaluation of whether agency resources are being used in accordance with agency goals, objectives and mission;
- Reevaluation of agency policies and procedures especially as documented in the agency's written directives system; and
- Correction of deficiencies before they become public problems.
The accreditation standards provide norms against which agency performance can be measured and monitored over time.
- Accreditation provides the agency with a continuing flow of commission-distributed information about exemplary policies, procedures and projects.
- Accreditation provides the agency an opportunity to participate in the development of new or revised standards.
- Accreditation provides recognition that the agency's managerial and operational policies and procedures are in accord with a body of professional standards.
- Accreditation assures that agency policies and procedures are in written form and available to all agency personnel.
- Accreditation assures personnel that every aspect of the agency's personnel system is in accordance with professional standards, and that it is both fair and equitable.
- Accreditation enhances the morale of the agency by increasing the confidence of employees in the effectiveness and efficiency of their own agency.
- Accreditation promotes relationships with other neighboring law enforcement agencies, as well as prosecutors, courts, correctional agencies, and state and local government officials.
- Accreditation provides objective measures to justify decisions related to budget requests and personnel policies.
- Accreditation reduces the likelihood of vicarious liability suits against the agency.