The South Portland Police Department has met the standards of a top national credentialing authority in the law enforcement profession.

The status was conferred by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a nonprofit that has developed best-practice standards for police departments around the country.

South Portland began the accreditation process in 2015, the department said in a statement.

Meeting the standards is a voluntary process, and required outside evaluation of the department’s policies and procedures to ensure they meet 189 benchmarks, a process that was completed in November 2017.

The final decision to award accreditation came at a conference in March in Frisco, Texas.

The accreditation agency was founded in 1979. The program was born from a United States Department of Justice grant that sought to create a measurable set of standards to help restore public trust in law enforcement following years of civil unrest and racial strife of the 1960s and 1970s, according to the CALEA website. The standards were designed to help combat the public image of police as unprofessional, poorly trained, and without internal standards of professionalism and accountability.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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