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About Us · Accreditation

WSP Receives CALEA Reaccreditation

In April 2016, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) received full reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), marking 28 consecutive years of national accreditation. Accreditation awarded to WSP at the CALEA conference. The WSP was first accredited by CALEA in 1988, the third state law enforcement agency to do so. At the March/April 2016 CALEA Conference, the WSP received the designation of "Accreditation with Excellence," the highest single period accreditation award available. Also the WSP earned the "Meritorious Award," which recognizes agencies for having been accredited for 15 or more continuous years. These agencies receive an enhanced certificate of accreditation displaying these notable awards for the public and agency to see.

Being accredited by CALEA requires police agencies to comply with over 484 standards that detail every major aspect of law enforcement, including traffic operations, crime analysis, performance evaluation, recruitment, evidence collection, strategic planning, public information, communications, and active threats. These standards are designed to make an agency more efficient, more accountable, and more responsive to the needs of citizens.

The CALEA assessment focuses on interviews with agency personnel to verify compliance along with file reviews. This process requires the Chief, Accreditation Manager, Assessors, and a CALEA Program Manager to discuss, in advance of the on-site, the agency strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) for the purpose of defining opportunities for agency-wide growth and development.

Over the years, the WSP has established a method to maintain accreditation with the help of WSP employees throughout the state of Washington. These employees are recognized members of our Reaccreditation Team (RT). Each employee specializes in a certain area with the knowledge and deeper understanding of what the standards are looking for, whether it is regarding use of force, crime lab results, audits, active threat situations, budget, and much more.

Every member on the team plays a vital role in helping the WSP receive reaccreditation. The RT members are asked to gather proofs for each accreditation year within their District or Division showing how we conduct daily operations. Once the proofs are obtained, RT members electronically place all proofs of compliance on a database for review. The WSP has over 430 regulations in our current policy manual. The Strategic Planning and Accountability Section reviews the proofs for compliance with current laws, policies, and procedures. Our policies are continuously reviewed through the concurrence process. The CALEA accreditation standards help our agency by ensuring all staff is abiding by these international standards.

Our mission – "The Washington State Patrol makes a difference every day, enhancing the safety and security of our state by providing the best in public safety services" – is truly complemented by CALEA standard accountability. The WSP continues to be a leader and role model for law enforcement agencies in the state as well as the nation.

For further information on the Accreditation Process, please contact us by e-mail or letter at:

Washington State Patrol
Strategic Planning and Accountability Section
PO Box 42600
Olympia, WA 98504-2600
Fax (360) 596-4152

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CALEA - Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies

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