Suffolk Police invite public to comment during open session with CALEA accreditation team


(Photo courtesy: Suffolk Police Department)

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Suffolk Police Department is scheduled for an on-site assessment from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in November, and part of the certification process includes feedback from the community.

Agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at the public information session on Monday, Nov. 9, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The session will be conducted in the City Council Chamber at City Hall located at 442 West Washington Street. Suffolk City Hall will be accessible to the public for this limited purpose only.

City officials say that face coverings will be required and social distancing will be adhered to for the public indoor setting. Staff will continue to increase sanitizing common surfaces.

If a person wants to offer comments to the assessment team but can’t speak at the public information session, agency employees and the public can call 757-514- 4223 on Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Comments will be taken by the assessment team.

Telephone comments, as well as appearances at the public information session, are limited to ten minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards.

A copy of the standards is available for review at Suffolk Police Department Headquarters located at 111 Henley Place. Contact the Accreditation Manager, Master Police Officer Andrew Fenneman, at 757-514-7959 for an appointment.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the Suffolk Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards for re-accreditation may send them to:

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA)
13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320
Gainesville, VA 20155
Or via email at

The CALEA national accreditation program requires agencies to comply with standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. Suffolk Police must comply with about 163 standards that contain over 300 bulleted sub-standards in order to gain accredited status.

Accreditation is for four years, during which the agency must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

City officials released a statement Thursday that said the following regarding the process:

“The Suffolk Police Department is community-oriented, and public trust is an integral part of its function on a day to day basis. This rigorous process offers transparency to the public which mutually benefits both parties so that the Suffolk Police Department can work together to build and support the most viable community possible.

“Enrollment in the CALEA Accreditation process is strictly voluntary, as most Departments would not be able to reach compliance with the strict accountability standards that are required. Only a small percentage of all Police Departments in the nation are accredited, as it takes the highest level of commitment to excellence to be able to comply with all of the requirements. By once again voluntarily subscribing to this strategic and comprehensive re-accreditation process, the Suffolk Police Department has once again attested to its commitment to the citizens of Suffolk.

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