Biddeford Police Department learned Saturday July 23 that it had earned reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Here, Lt. Ricky Doyon, the department’s accreditation manager and Police Chief Roger Beaupre second and third from left, respectively, are shown with CALEA commissioners. Courtesy Photo/Biddeford Police

BIDDEFORD — Biddeford Police Department first earned national accreditation four years ago.

Now, they’ve done it again.

The department was awarded the honor by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies at their annual conference, held in Chicago, on July 23.

“The process of CALEA Accreditation begins with a rigorous self-assessment, requiring a review of policies, practices, and processes against internationally accepted public safety standards,” CALEA Executive Director W. Craig Hartley Jr. said in a letter to Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre.

Huntley said that is followed with an examination by independent assessors with significant public safety experience, along with public feedback, and interviews conducted with select agency personnel and others to assess a department’s effectiveness and overall service delivery.

A decision to accredit is rendered by a governing body of 21 commissioners, he said, following a public hearing and review of all reporting documentation. Beaupre testified before commissioners as a part of the final review process, which resulted in a vote to grant the agency accreditation for another four years.


Biddeford’s longtime police chief said he is pleased at the reaccreditation.

“Achieving and maintaining accreditation requires a solid commitment to professional excellence in policy and practice and active participation from all agency members,” Beaupre said. “I am proud of the work that each and every member of the department puts in daily to continue to reach CALEA’s high standards.”

The first accreditation came in 18 months from what is usually a three-year process, Beaupre said. Reaccreditation is thought to be more exacting because CALEA personnel assessing police agencies expect policies to be more fine-tuned, he said.

“The first accreditation confirmed we were doing the right things,” Beaupre said. “In reaccreditation, they delve into operations more deeply, ask for more proof that you are doing what you say you are doing.”

As an example, he said, CALEA found no issues with the property and evidence room — an area in agencies where minor glitches can occur. CALEA found that the department’s policies are up to date to comply with new standards, he said.

Reaccreditation includes a review of policies, discipline, tracking training records, and more, requiring commitment by both the agency and the city. City Manager James Bennett supports the accreditation program, Beaupre noted.


Mayor Alan Casavant expressed pride in the achievement.

“I am very impressed by Chief Beaupre and the entire Biddeford Police Department for all that they have done to ensure that CALEA’s high standards for accreditation are met,” said Casavant. “The Department’s re-accreditation tells the public that the BPD is a modern, professional organization, dedicated to serve with the needed skills and education to protect all within our community.”

According to CALEA, benefits of accreditation include greater accountability with an agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, a stronger defense against civil lawsuits, staunch support for government officials and increased community advocacy.

Just a handful of municipal law enforcement agencies in Maine, like Lewiston, Auburn, South Portland, and Biddeford, are accredited by CALEA. Nationally, five percent of law enforcement agencies are accredited, Beaupre said.

The BPD has 56 sworn officers, clerical staff and a contingent of 15 communications dispatchers who also provide dispatching services to Biddeford Fire Department and several other agencies.

Beaupre said accreditation is good for the agency and for the city.

“The public is better reserved as a result,” he said.

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