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Rocklin police invite public comment

Department seeks accreditation
By: ToLewis, The Placer Herald
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The Rocklin Police Department is inviting public comment in its attempt to gain accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. An assessment team representing the commission will arrive on Dec. 8 and is interested in hearing from the public, said Sgt. Chad Butler, accreditation manager for the Rocklin Police Department. "They are interested in hearing if the public has any input, whether it's good feedback or bad feedback, on how they see the department handling business in their community," Butler said. "They're just looking for any kind of feedback from the community." Members of the community can either attend a public information session or offer feedback by telephone on Monday, Dec. 10. Accreditation is a voluntary process where law enforcement agencies undergo an assessment of polices and are given a set of guidelines of which to follow. The Rocklin Police Department became interested in accreditation three years ago and has since been preparing for the on-site assessment, Butler said. "The great thing about the accreditation process is that it is ongoing and the systems developed make certain that what we intend to do daily, weekly and monthly is actually getting done," said police chief Mark Siemens. Accreditation does not give the department guidelines on how to write its policies. Rather, it provides guidelines based on national and international standards, Butler said. "We were looking for something like a road map of where to take our policies and build our procedure manuals and accreditation was the way that the chief saw to get that done," Butler said. According to Lt. Lon Milka of the Rocklin Police Department, about 5 percent of the law enforcement agencies in the United States are accredited with CALEA. "We'd like to distinguish ourselves for being committed to professional police practices," Milka said. Lt. Mike Freeman, also heading the accreditation process, said the department had to comply with 385 separate standards set by CALEA. Freeman said the Rocklin Police Department accreditation is on a three-year cycle, so it will be looking at re-accreditation again in 2010. "It really keeps you from dropping the ball on anything you do and that is important in an organization," Freeman said. "That's what I see as being a huge accomplishment for us." As part of the assessment, the public is invited to offer comments by calling (916) 625-5469 between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10. A public information session will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 10 in the Rocklin Police Department's community room at 4080 Rocklin Road. Both telephone and in-person comments will be limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with CALEA standards, which are available for public review at the Rocklin Police Department. Letters can also be written and can be sent to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, Virginia, 22030-2201. The public can contact accreditation managers Sergeant Chad Butler at (916) 625-5442 or Lieutenant Mike Freeman at (916) 625-5435. For more information on the accreditation process, visit either the Rocklin Police Department or CALEA Web site at: www.rocklin.ca.us/government/police/about/accreditation.asp or www.calea.org.