Public Safety Agencies in More than Half of All States in Mexico Sign on to Police Professionalism Grant Under U.S. State Department 

Law enforcement agencies in 21 out of 32 states in Mexico aim to achieve the “gold standard” in public safety accreditation

MEXICO CITY, March 12, 2019 — Law enforcement agencies in more than half of all states in Mexico have officially committed to pursuing international law enforcement accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). CALEA was established in 1979 and is a credentialing authority that awards accreditation to public safety agencies in the US, Canada, Barbados and Mexico that demonstrate meeting an established set of professional standards based on industry best practices.

This initiative, made available to law enforcement agencies in Mexico, is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Merida Initiative, with additional training and technical assistance provided by the Police Foundation.

There are currently 50 state, municipal, and federal public safety agencies pursuing or maintaining CALEA accreditation in Mexico, including police departments, public safety training academies, and public safety communication centers. In November of 2018, CALEA inaugurated its first accreditation hearing in Mexico City, where six Mexican law enforcement agencies presented before CALEA’s Board of Commissioners and earned CALEA accreditation. These agencies are required to undergo annual on-line audits and an on-site evaluation by trained CALEA Assessors every four years in order to maintain their accredited status.

“The growing number of Mexican law enforcement agencies interested in pursuing CALEA accreditation demonstrates a commitment to organizational improvement, excellence, and professionalism — not just in one state, but across the entire country of Mexico,” said Jim Burch, the Interim President of the Police Foundation. “We are optimistic that even more Mexican agencies will apply to earn CALEA accreditation, demonstrating significant commitment to professionalism by Mexican law enforcement and new hope for Mexican citizens.”

Law enforcement agencies achieve accreditation following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA Assessors. Each agency then goes before CALEA’s Board of Commissioners, which reviews all findings and makes an independent determination if the agency complies with all applicable CALEA standards before conferring accredited status.

With regard to the significance of Mexican law enforcement earning CALEA accreditation, Tobin Bradley, Director of the Merida Initiative office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, stated, “Accreditation increases public trust in institutions; it gives citizens confidence that their complaints will be heard, that their police forces will do what they should, and if they don’t – that they will be held accountable.”

CALEA’s Executive Director W. Craig Hartley, Jr. added, “The process of CALEA accreditation is a proven model for success in public safety. CALEA’s partnership with the National Police Foundation and the United States Department of State serves to further assist public safety leaders and practitioners in Mexico to achieve continuous organizational improvement.”

“We are honored to provide technical assistance and guidance to 39 Mexican public safety agencies, including 18 training academies, 11 communications centers, and 10 law enforcement agencies, as they pursue international accreditation through CALEA and we are grateful for the State Department’s critical support,” said Jim Burch, Interim President of the National Police Foundation. “This program has already resulted in the accreditation of multiple agencies across Mexico and has generated interest from dozens of others, demonstrating a strong desire to enhance professionalism and to advance Mexican policing.”

Background:
The Merida Initiativeis a bilateral security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States of America. Through nearly ten years of implementation, the Merida Initiative has led to greater cooperation between the United States and Mexico. It provides tangible support to Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial institutions, strengthens border security, and helps to counteract the activities of transnational criminal organizations and the illegal trade in narcotics. To date, through the Mérida Initiative the United States has delivered USD 1.8 billion in equipment, training, and capacity building assistance to the government of Mexico.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as an independent, not-for-profit credentialing authority. The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by: maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence. This accreditation program provides public safety agencies an opportunity to voluntarily demonstrate that they meet an established set of professional standards based on industry best practices and approved by an all-volunteer board of commissioners.

The Police Foundationis a U.S.-based, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and science. For nearly 50 years, the Police Foundation has conducted research on all aspects of policing, provided training and technical assistance in all aspects of policing, and has led the way in promoting and sharing evidence-based practices and innovation among law enforcement in the U.S. and internationally. For more information on the Police Foundation, please visit www.policefoundation.org (www.fundacionpolicia.org.mx). For media inquiries, please contact media@policefoundation.org.

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