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Madison Police accredited by national commission

MADISON – Madison Police Department has qualified again for formal accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies or CALEA.

The accreditation complies with the recent Presidential Executive Order on Safe Policing, which mandated procedures to confirm transparent law enforcement – like a ‘neutral eye’ that oversees the department. Madison Police Chief Dave Jernigan compares CALEA accreditation to the “gold standard” for public safety agencies.

Madison Police Department ranks in the elite five percent of the almost 18,000 law agencies to reach this benchmark. Madison is the ninth Alabama agency to achieve CALEA accreditation.

“We have been notified by CALEA that we are currently in compliance with standards and, under the direction of Captain Terrell Cook in our Office of Professional Standards, will follow the legacy set out by the late Captain Wayne Kamus,” Jernigan said.

The department initially pursued the accreditation in 2006 when former chief Dan Buskin authorized purchase of standards to use as a baseline for compliance. In 2013, former chief Larry Muncey appointed Kamus as Department Accreditation Manager to enact necessary procedural changes and gather proof of compliance.

In July 2017, Jernigan was appointed Madison Police Chief after serving as Chief Deputy for Madison County Sheriff’s Office where he initiated CALEA approval. Jernigan set CALEA accreditation as top priority.

In less than one year after Jernigan took command, Madison Police Department had its first onsite CALEA assessment in June 2018. CALEA reviewers visited the department in person, inspected each area to review compliance and conducted interviews with department employees.

A department must satisfy standards for use of force, vehicular pursuits, training, legal matters, personnel management, recruitment, emergency response, communications, evidence handling and criminal investigations.

The agency must prove their compliance with photos, videos, documents or reports.

With CALEA approval, department employees can pursue increased training, consistent promotion/hiring practices and standard employment benefits. “Citizens can be assured that they have a 21st-century law enforcement agency that maintains the highest level of professionalism and preparedness,” Jernigan said.

CALEA receives input from International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and Police Executive Research Forum.

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