The University of South Carolina Upstate Department of Public Safety has been awarded national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in the Law Enforcement program.
Members of the University’s police department were recognized during the annual CALEA conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in July by CALEA president Richard Myers and executive director Craig Harley with accreditation for excellence in public safety and commitment to community.
“Our agency is honored to have earned this accreditation,” said Klay Peterson, chief of USC Upstate Department of Public Safety. “It represents years of hard work by the officers of our department who serve our community of learners through adherence to the highest standards in professional law enforcement.”
The purpose of CALEA accreditation is to improve the delivery of public safety services primarily by maintaining a body of standards developed by public safety practitioners, establishing and administering an accreditation process and recognizing professional excellence.
The CALEA accreditation process is lengthy. It begins with a rigorous self-assessment requiring a review of policies, practices and processes against internationally accepted public safety standards, followed by an independent assessment by those with significant public safety experience. cycle.
As part of the on-site assessment, University personnel and members of the community were invited to offer comments at a public information session. The assessment team, including public safety practitioners from similar law enforcement agencies, also reviewed written materials, interviewed those familiar with departmental procedures, and visited offices and other locations where compliance could be witnessed.
CALEA accreditation/recognition is granted for a four-year period, during which the law enforcement agency must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.
CALEA was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum.
In addition to the CALEA accreditation, Chief Peterson also was recognized as a runner-up in the 9th annual Campus Safety Director of the Year by Campus Safety Magazine. Peterson was recognized during the annual Campus Safety Conference in Washington in July.
Peterson has been with USC Upstate since May 2007. Prior to joining USC Upstate he was the director of Public Safety at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He also served as the tribal chief of police for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and worked as a law enforcement officer in various capacities for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside Police Department in Southern California. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from California State University San Bernardino and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from California Lutheran University.