Carmel PD approaching rare, impressive feat

CARMEL, Ind (WISH) – After years of accreditation, the Carmel Police Department is about to enter a rare category when it comes to that distinction.

The department is going for 20 years of accreditation.

When it comes to stopping a speeder, there’s a procedure Carmel officers must follow. Whether it involves a veteran, or rookie, both are held to a high standard.

This is because for 19 years, the department has been part of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

“It’s a strategy for developing public trust and showing your community that you are committed to excellence, committed to holding ourselves accountable to what we’re doing,” CALEA Commission on Accreditation for law enforcement agencies team leader George Carpenter said.

Before it can reach year 20, Carpenter and CALEA assessor Jamey Mills review nearly 200 policies, talk with leaders, and go out on officer ride alongs.

“It takes a big commitment from everybody,” Mills said. “From the chief, to the mayor, to the city council, to demonstrate to their residents that they are committed to this.”

Not many departments across this country have this distinction. Out of about 16,000, only 750 are accredited, and that number is even smaller for those who have done it for 20 consecutive years, .

“This is one of our longer term agencies,” Mills said. Accreditation helps communities save money with lower insurance rates.

But Chief Tim Green says it goes beyond the savings.

“In today’s public safety market, it’s always great to have that outside evaluation, and outside review, and outside reinforcement that we are doing things in a way that is accepted as best practice across the country,” Chief Green said.

It’s an evaluation he believes will keep things smooth, even if you aren’t excited to see an officer greet your window.

“It can be stressful, but it’s good time too, and it’s also a time for us to showcase to the assessors our department and our community,” Chief Green said.

In addition to meeting with police, the assessors take public input. A meeting was held Tuesday. If you weren’t able to make it, you can write CALEA at this address, 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, VA 20155.

The department will learn of its re-accreditation later this year.