Syracuse University Department of Public Safety Receives National Accrediation

Today, Senior Vice President for Business, Finance and Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer Amir Rahnamay-Azar announced that on November 13, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) voted to recommend that the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS) be accredited for a period of four years. CALEA accreditation is the the gold standard for public safety and law enforcement in the nation.

The CALEA accreditation process provides public safety departments with an opportunity to prove that they meet the highest professional standards in law enforcement, and require:

  • Comprehensive and uniform written directives that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities
  • Reports and analyses to make fact-based and informed management decisions
  • Preparedness to address natural or man-made critical incidents
  • Community relationship-building and maintenance
  • Independent review by subject matter experts
  • Continuous pursuit of excellence through annual reviews and other assessment measures

This fall, CALEA assessors reviewed all DPS polices and procedures, reviewed proof of compliance with the procedures, and held a public hearing regarding the department’s performance. Accreditation signifies that DPS has proven that its policies and procedures meet CALEA’s comprehensive standards and that DPS has provided proof of compliance with those policies, procedures, and standards. CALEA standards are developed by expert public safety practitioners covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives for law enforcement. This achievement is rare amongst law enforcement agencies.

“There are currently 743 CALEA accredited law enforcement agencies, only 66 of which are higher education public safety departments, and DPS is one of only 11 CALEA-accredited law enforcement agencies in New York State,” said DPS Detective Christopher Wood, who managed the accreditation process.

“We are honored to have received this accreditation from CALEA. It would have not been possible without the hard work and diligence of all members of the department,” said DPS Chief Bobby Maldonado. “We’re grateful to Detective Wood and his team for updating our policies and procedures, and compiling the reports and records required to meet the standards set forth by CALEA.”

DPS will need to demonstrate continued proof of standards compliance with the CALEA commission on an annual basis. In addition, a formal review for reaccreditation with CALEA will take place in Summer 2024.

While this is first time DPS has received accreditation from CALEA, in 2015, DPS achieved accreditation by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), and was reaccredited in 2019. These standards focus on public safety and law enforcement at institutions of higher education. The dual accreditation is rare and a testament to the professionalism of DPS and its staff, said Senior Vice President and Chief Law Enforcement Officer Tony Callisto. DPS is one of only 27 dual CALEA/IACLEA accredited campus public safety agencies nationwide and the only one in New York State.

About CALEA: The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations. The CALEA Accreditation program seals are reserved for use by those public safety agencies that have demonstrated compliance with CALEA Standards and have been awarded CALEA Accreditation by the Commission.