In March 1998, the Hattiesburg Police Department became the first law enforcement agency in the state of Mississippi to become nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Accreditation is an ongoing process of advancement and achievement, as the department must undergo an extensive review process by CALEA for re-accreditation every 3 years. The department has made a commitment to the accreditation process for a number of reasons, including benefits that may be realized through:
- Improved and more efficient personnel practices through the required implementation and documentation of practices and procedures related to discipline, performance evaluation, promotion and training.
- Increased officer safety through the implementation of safety related standards.
- Reduced likelihood of litigation against an officer or the Department through the implementation of procedures in high liability areas.
- Improvement in the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Department by requiring the Department to review and assess organization and operations, and compare them to an objective outside standard that is recognized in professional law enforcement circles.
After being recognized earlier in the year, the Hattiesburg Police Department is still pleased to announce its national approval for re-accreditation.