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Since 1987 the Prince William County Police Department has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). CALEA, an independent entity, was founded in 1979 through the joint efforts of the International Associations of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriff’s Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.

The Commission is charged with administering an accreditation process unique to law enforcement agencies in the United States and several foreign nations. The ultimate goal of the process is to increase the professionalism of law enforcement agencies.

The Commission is comprised of 21 members. These 21 commissioners include both accomplished law-enforcement professionals as well as representatives from the public and private sectors. A body of 459 standards has been developed, composed of six major topic areas:

  • law enforcement role, responsibilities, and relationships;
  • organization management and administration;
  • personnel structure;
  • personnel process;
  • law enforcement operations; and
  • operational support.

The accreditation process benefits both the agency and the community it serves by ensuring that the Department remains committed to providing the highest quality of professional service. It also promotes community cooperation and understanding which are essential to law enforcement in the 21st century.

At the time of our initial accreditation in 1987, the Prince William County Police Department was the 55th agency nationwide to achieve this status. Since then, the Department has undergone the process of being re-accredited in 1992, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2009, 2012, and again in 2015. This involved an exhaustive review by a team of outside assessors to ensure our compliance. The Department is proud to have achieved nationally accredited status.

In 2009, the Department became the fifth law enforcement agency in the United States to earn the TRI-ARC Award of Excellence from CALEA. The TRI-ARC Award is bestowed upon agencies that concurrently hold all three CALEA accreditation awards: Law Enforcement Accreditation, Public Safety Communications Accreditation, and Public Safety Training Academy Accreditation. The Office of Public Safety Communications has been accredited since 2003. The Prince William County Criminal Justice Academy earned its first independent accreditation from CALEA in 2009.

Additional information concerning the accreditation process can be obtained from our Accreditation Manager at 703-792-5827 or, or by contacting CALEA at 800-368-3757.


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