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The Bristol Tennessee Police Department has been granted its 8th consecutive accreditation award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) following a comprehensive inspection that made special note of the department’s professional culture and management.
“The safety and security of our community remains a top priority, and this accreditation is verification that the Bristol Tennessee Police Department meets the highest standards in law enforcement,” said City Manager Bill Sorah. “I’m extremely proud of the professional service provided by every member of the BTPD, and congratulate Chief Blaine Wade and his leadership team for this impressive achievement.”
Widely accepted as the “gold standard in public safety,” CALEA accreditation is a voluntary process that recognizes compliance with a series of professional law enforcement standards. BTPD first gained accreditation in 1996 and, in the years since, has participated in a reaccreditation process that includes an in-depth on-site assessment, an opportunity for the public to provide input, and a formal hearing before a board of commissioners. The most recent visit was conducted in March and found that BTPD met 100 percent of the mandatory standards and 92 percent of the other-than-mandatory standards evaluated by CALEA. The department also received high marks for its policy on use of force, its pursuit policies, and its community policing program.
“Reaccreditation occurs every four years, but it’s a goal we work toward every day,” Chief Wade said. “The process allows us to continually evaluate our policies and procedures against CALEA’s high standards to ensure we’re providing the level of service our community expects and deserves.”
In his role as Accreditation Manager, Officer Jody Camper oversees the accreditation process for BTPD. The department is also accredited through the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.
CALEA was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive association, which include the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).