CALEA site visit part of RUPD’s effort to earn national accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) will conduct a site visit at the Rice University Police Department Nov. 6-8 as part of RUPD’s application for national accreditation.

Logo for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc.A public forum at which the community can offer comments is part of the site visit. The forum will be held at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Farnsworth Pavilion in the Rice Memorial Center. Those who want to comment but cannot attend the forum can talk to the assessment team by phone Nov. 7 between 1 and 3 p.m. by calling 713-348-3089. Comments at the forum and on the phone must be limited to 10 minutes and must address RUPD’s ability to comply with CALEA standards.

During the site visit, CALEA will examine all aspects of RUPD’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services. The assessment team comprises top public safety practitioners from similar out-of-state agencies, including team leader Chief Paul Verrecchia, former director of organizational assessment services for Margolis Healy & Associates, and Capt. John Jacobs from the University of Richmond Police Department.

Verification by the team that RUPD meets the commission’s industry best-practice standards is part of a voluntary process to gain national accreditation — a top recognition of public safety professional excellence. Only 3 percent of all law enforcement agencies in the United States have earned accreditation.

RUPD must comply with 189 standards to gain accreditation status. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals and visit offices and other locations where compliance can be witnessed. Once the CALEA assessors complete their review of RUPD, they will report back to the commission, which will then decide if Rice’s police department will be granted accredited status. Accreditation is for three years, during which RUPD must submit annual reports to show continued compliance with the standards under which it was initially accredited.

A copy of the CALEA standards is available at RUPD in Room 111 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Written comments about RUPD’s ability to comply with standards for accreditation can be mailed to Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155, or emailed (with “Rice University Police Department” in the subject line) to

For more information about RUPD and its efforts to reach accredited status, contact Chief Johnny Whitehead at or 713-348-6333 or accreditation manager Sgt. Carla Barnette at or 713-348-4593.

For more info about the commission, visit


About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.