The “Accreditation of Mexican Law Enforcement Agencies, Emergency Communications Centers and Police Academies to International Standards”, also referred to as the “Enhancing Professionalism in Mexican Law Enforcement Agencies” project is a joint initiative of the Police Foundation and the Commission on Accreditation in Law Enforcement Agencies, with funding support from the United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
The objectives of the program include providing on-site and remote technical assistance to Mexican agencies, preparing for a self-assessment by complying with applicable CALEA accreditation standards, developing proofs of compliance, conducting on-site assessments including a comprehensive document review at each agency in coordination with INL, assessment reports with agency recommendations, a panel hearing at CALEA Commission meetings with agency staff to review the report and address any issues therein in coordination with INL, and finally, CALEA will grant accreditation to agencies upon a determination that the agency is in compliance with all applicable standards in accordance with the CALEA process.
Over the course of the three-year initiative, the Police Foundation, CALEA and the INL officials will identify and make outreach to potential accreditation candidates, including law enforcement agencies, training and communications centers. These agencies will be invited to participate and if they commit to doing so, the Police Foundation will work with these agencies to prepare for the accreditation process. This preparation includes developing familiarity with and understanding of the CALEA approach, assessing agency readiness, identify and planning for policy and procedural enhancements necessary to be considered for accreditation status, and preparing agency leaders and staff for the CALEA on-site assessment. The Police Foundation will work with these agencies following the on-site assessment to address any issues that may need to be resolved or develop a plan for preparing for eventual reaccreditation.
Among the anticipated results of the project is an increase in the number of accredited agencies in Mexico, improved policies and procedures, and increased citizen and officer perceptions of professionalism within the agencies.
The Police Foundation and CALEA agree that accrediting Mexico’s police agencies will further enhance opportunities for material reform by creating a strong policy foundation on which Mexican agencies can consistently operate and bolster community relations and public trust between Mexican officers and citizens. Where CALEA accreditation is awarded, the agencies will experience significant opportunities to leverage greater reforms and to maintain the credibility and professionalization that comes with internationally recognized accreditation.
This accreditation process, once completed, is a proven contemporary management model and presents the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with a blueprint that promotes the efficient use of resources and improves service delivery—regardless of the size, geographic location, or functional responsibilities of the agency for many years thereafter. This methodology is sustainable once the foundation for accreditation is built and can then further enhance the community trust and police accountability.
The Enhancing Professionalism in Mexican Law Enforcement Agencies Initiative is funded through a three-year, $1 million grant from the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). With this funding support, the Police Foundation and CALEA will join together in an unprecedented and unique collaboration to support the U.S.-Mexico Mérida Initiative and to help foster professional police services, trust and confidence in Mexican law enforcement.
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Frank Straub, Ph.D.
Senior Law Enforcement Policy Analyst
Police services, Accreditation, CALEA, Emergency Communications Centers, assessing agency readiness, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs