From left to right: Executive Director Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., W. Craig Hartley Jr.; Eileen W. Behr, Vice President and Chief of Police, Drexel Public Safety; Joseph Spera, director of operations; Colin P. Quinn, communication accreditation & training manager; Jane Kelly, law enforcement accreditation manager; Robert Lis, associate director of investigations; and Chairman of the CALEA Commission Richard W. Myers. The picture was taken at the November hearings in Jacksonville, Florida.
On Nov. 18 in Jacksonville, Florida, the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) voted to reaccredit both the Drexel University Public Safety Communications Center (DUPSCC) and Drexel University Police Department (DUPD). Both the DUPSCC and DUPD have been CALEA accredited since 2011, with November’s votes serving to reaffirm the Department of Public Safety’s commitment to the highest quality of service and standard of care for the third consecutive time.
Since 2011, Drexel has remained the first and only university in the world with an accredited, dedicated public safety communications center. In addition, the DUPSCC’s 2017 reaccreditation was designated as ‘Accreditation with Excellence,’ an accomplishment reserved for only 20 of more than 100 agencies receiving awards at the 2017 hearings. The ‘Accreditation with Excellence’ award provides agencies an opportunity to be further recognized for the effective use of accreditation as a model for the delivery of enhanced public safety services and management professionalism, and requires a variety of rigorous standards to be met for qualification, including unanimous recommendation of support from the 21-member Commission.
There are very few communication centers accredited through CALEA — just 92 nationwide. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are even fewer — the DUPSCC is just one of two communication centers to have achieved this prestigious designation.
Nationwide, only 77 university and college law enforcement agencies have successfully achieved CALEA accreditation. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are only 12 police departments accredited through CALEA, and Drexel remains just one of two university police departments in Pennsylvania to achieve this prestigious recognition.
Successfully achieving reaccreditation signifies the Department of Public Safety’s commitment to professional excellence. The CALEA accreditation is only awarded after an extensive, comprehensive and voluntary process focusing on the areas of policy, procedure, operations and management. This rigorous process includes submitting annual reports to the commission and to undergo an on-site assessment by the CALEA accreditation team. Successfully achieving accreditation would be impossible without the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of Drexel’s Public Safety teams, and our community can be confident that Public Safety, as a department, continues to remain in pursuit of the best possible industry standards and practices.
Combined through both accreditation programs, the Department of Public Safety has proven compliance with an estimated 700 standards addressing a variety of major law enforcement areas designed to strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities, establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices, improve service-delivery and boost citizen and staff confidence in the Department of Public Safety. These areas include:
- Organization, management and administration
- Law enforcement operations, operational support and traffic law enforcement
- Community relations, education and outreach
- Recruitment, selection, training and promotion
- Critical incidents, special operations and homeland security
The DUPSCC is staffed 24 hours a day and seven days a week by dispatchers who are certified and trained by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, and maintains constant communication with the Drexel University Police Department, the Philadelphia Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to ensure a prompt and coordinated law enforcement response.
The Drexel University Police Department is composed of full-time sworn municipal police officers certified through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission with law enforcement authority at Drexel's three campuses. There, you will see officers on patrol by foot and vehicle working diligently with students, faculty and professional staff while also collaborating with the broader University City community and the City of Philadelphia to deliver the highest quality of service and protection.
By Vice President of Public Safety and Chief of Police Eileen W. Behr.