Tag Archives: CALEA

Burbank Police Department Earns Re-Accreditation in Standards of Excellence

Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse (third from left) receives the re-accreditation from the CALEA committee. (Photo Courtesy of the Burbank Police Department)

The Burbank Police Department has earned re-accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), a highly valued recognition of public safety professional excellence. Achieving this accreditation requires voluntary compliance with hundreds of law enforcement standards established by CALEA® based on best practices.

“This re-accreditation reinforces our commitment to excellence, professionalism, and continued improvement,” said Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse. “We will continue to utilize both internal and external oversight to ensure we are meeting and exceeding industry standards and best practices.”

In July of 2017, the Burbank Police Department underwent an extensive on-site assessment and verification process to ensure the Department was meeting the Commission’s standards. As part of the process, a Public Information Session was held, providing the public with an opportunity to voice both praise and criticism, and to ask questions of the CALEA® assessors.

The Burbank Police Department was formally recognized and re-accredited in a ceremony held in Jacksonville, Florida on November 18, 2017. The Burbank Police also earned its second Accreditation for Advanced Law Enforcement by meeting additional criteria above and beyond those required for standard accreditation.

The Burbank Police Department has been recognized as a CALEA® accredited law enforcement agency since 2014. This latest accreditation is good for four years.

For more information about CALEA® and the law enforcement accreditation process, please visit www.calea.org

Burbank Police Seek Public’s Input for CALEA Re-Accreditation

Since 2014, the Burbank Police Department has been recognized as an accredited law enforcement agency by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®). Achieving this accreditation requires voluntary compliance with over 480 law enforcement standards established by CALEA® based on best practices.

The Burbank Police Department is seeking re-accreditation by CALEA® and is scheduled for an upcoming on-site assessment. Verification by the Assessment Team that the Burbank Police Department meets the Commission’s standards is part of the voluntary process to achieve law enforcement accreditation—a highly valued recognition of public safety professional excellence.

“CALEA accreditation demonstrates the Department’s commitment to excellence and professionalism and is intended to increase community and staff confidence in the Department,” said Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse.

The CALEA® on-site assessment will occur during the week of July 24, 2017. Once assessors complete the review of the Department, they will report back to the full Commission which will decide if the Burbank Police Department is to be granted re-accreditation. The accreditation is for a three year period, during which the Department must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with the standards under which it was initially accredited.

As part of the on-site assessment, Department employees and members of the public are invited to attend a Public Information Session to offer comments. The Public Information Session will be held on July 24, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. in the City of Burbank Community Services Building, Room #104, which is located at 150 North Third Street in Burbank.

Copies of the standards with which the Burbank Police Department must comply will be available at the front counter of the Burbank Police Department and electronically via www.burbankpd.org.

Questions about the Burbank Police Department’s accreditation process may be directed to the Department’s Accreditation Manager, Captain Armen Dermenjian, at (818) 238-3217. For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., please contact to the Commission at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155, or by phone at (703) 352-4225, or email: calea@calea.org

Burbank Police Department Receives CALEA Accreditation

Present in Albuquerque, New Mexico to receive the accreditation award on November 22, 2014, were City Manager Mark Scott, Chief Scott LaChasse, Deputy Chief Tom Angel, Captain Ron Caruso, and the Department’s Accreditation Manager Lieutenant Armen Dermenjian (Photo Courtesy Burbank Police Dept.)

Present in Albuquerque, New Mexico to receive the accreditation award on November 22, 2014, were City Manager Mark Scott, Chief Scott LaChasse, Deputy Chief Tom Angel, Captain Ron Caruso, and the Department’s Accreditation Manager Lieutenant Armen Dermenjian (Photo Courtesy Burbank Police Dept.)

Chief Scott LaChasse, of the Burbank Police Department, announced that the Department has been awarded the Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This coveted award is considered the highest standard of excellence in law enforcement. With this accreditation, the Burbank Police Department becomes the second municipal law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County to be accredited and joins an elite class of accredited law enforcement agencies that represent less than three percent of all law enforcement agencies in the country.

CALEA accreditation represents a significant professional achievement but more importantly, it represents the Department’s commitment to self-improvement and providing excellent service to the community. The CALEA Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation requires compliance with a comprehensive set of over 480 standards that reflect the current thinking and experience of law enforcement practitioners and researchers. Since the first accreditation award in 1984, the program has become the primary formal method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement.

Present in Albuquerque, New Mexico to receive the accreditation award on November 22, 2014, were City Manager Mark Scott, Chief Scott LaChasse, Deputy Chief Tom Angel, Captain Ron Caruso, and the Department’s Accreditation Manager Lieutenant Armen Dermenjian. During the Agency Review Hearing, Commissioner Webre complimented Chief LaChasse on the Department’s workforce demographics as representing the community’s demographics as “perfectly as he has seen.” He also recognized that the information reported by the Department about its critical incidents was consistent with industry standards and commented, “It gives me the confidence that you truly were forthright, objective, and embraced the process.”

Chief LaChasse attributes the success in achieving CALEA Accreditation to the professionalism and perseverance of all Burbank Police Department personnel as well as to the active support of the City Council and the City Manager. By achieving the “Gold Standard in Public Safety,” the Burbank Police Department has certainly demonstrated its commitment to transparency, constitutional policing, service excellence, and continuous improvement, according to Chief LaChasse.

CALEA accreditation is an ongoing process and requires reaccreditation every three years.

Burbank Police Looking for Public’s Imput for CALEA Accreditation

Got something to say about the Burbank Police Department?

Residents and department employees will have an opportunity to sound off for 10 minutes on the police department on Aug. 4 for that very purpose.

Community feedback is required in the voluntary process police are participating in through the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA, an independent agency with ties to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Police embarked on the process in fall 2011, reviewing their policies and practices to be able to say they meet professional standards of law enforcement.

A second opportunity for community feedback will be provided on Aug. 5 when residents may call in and speak with CALEA representatives. Phone comments are also limited to 10 minutes.

Police Chief Scott LaChasse said in an email he is delighted the organization has moved closer to CALEA certification.

It has taken a Herculean effort, the result being the emergence of a contemporary, open, transparent, responsive and vibrant organization,” LaChasse said. “CALEA certification will give us the distinction of being one of a select few law enforcement agencies that have attained this status. Further, the certification will facilitate our objective to remain contemporary and cutting-edge….meaning that Burbank will be a place where others come to harvest best practices.”

CALEA, founded in 1979 through a grant from the department of justice, was created by four executive law enforcement organizations, including the International Association of Police Chiefs, according to the CALEA website. Riots in the 1960s and 1970s led many to question the professionalism, integrity, training and hiring practices of law enforcement, and resulted in the establishment of a body of standards that police departments could voluntarily subject themselves to.

The August meeting is an opportunity for the CALEA assessors to “to meet with members of the public and see what they have to say about the police department,” Lt. Armen Dermenjian said. “It’s not so much to describe [the CALEA] process, it’s more to ask for feedback from the community.”

Dermenjian, an 18-year veteran, has been overseeing the accreditation process.

We have made certain claims, about safety issues, how we do business, the programs we offer, and [CALEA assessors] want to know if the community feels the same way,” Dermenjian said. “It’s one thing for us to say we do a good job and another to hear it from the community.”

Police departments participating in the self assessment process are allowed three years to do so, and Dermenjian said Burbank has been doing two things: participating in the CALEA process and drafting new policies for the department. Essentially taking on two large projects concurrently, he said.

I will be relieved when we are done and they say we are going to be accredited,” he said. “I feel we are doing a good job of providing documentation for standards, and learned more about the organization through the process. Sometimes, we work on assumptions. It’s different when you have to show hard copy, documentation.”

The last three years essentially have been an internal audit of policies and practices, Dermenjian said.

CALEA also requires a citizen survey every three years, and police conducted an online survey between April and May. The results of the 19-question survey are posted on the police department’s web site.

A survey about police services had not been conducted in a long time, Dermenjian said, although a city-wide questionnaire of all departments was conducted in 2010. The survey may have only included a couple of questions about police services.

The recent web-based survey was designed by police and advertised via social media, and was open for five weeks, Dermenjian said. Police used SurveyMonkey,  a popular and trusted survey site that allows users to easily create surveys.

The survey included the ability to ensure the same person did not complete the survey multiple times, and because police were pressed for time, Dermenjian said they thought an online survey would be the best way to reach out to the community.

In the future, we may expand or supplement it with hard copies, and distribute it to a larger portion of community,” Dermenjian said.

Dermenjian acknowledged that 370 respondents is less than the roughly 100,000 who live in Burbank, but said police are pretty satisfied with the sample size.

With a population of 100,000, the margin of error is plus or minus 5%,” he said. “The perception of safety is 84% to 94%, even with the error margin.”

Dermenjian is referring to the first survey question, which asks respondents to rate how safe they feel in the city of Burbank, their neighborhood during the day and other locations around town. About 88% rated the city very safe or safe, and about 89% rated their neighborhood very safe or safe.

To reduce the error margin to 1%, Dermenjian said 9,000 responses would be needed, which could be difficult to get.

The questionnaire also revealed that most respondents rated the quality of police services as excellent (almost 37%), and very good (about 34%). Just under 15% rated police services as good; about 9.5% said fair; and about 4% said police services were poor.

Police also posted the results of internal affairs investigations for 2013. They are categorized as citizen complaints (48) and personnel investigations (19), and the allegations of each complaint or investigation are posted as well as the results.

 

The public meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at Burbank City Hall, in Council Chambers, located at 275 E. Olive Ave.

For those who would like to offer comments by phone, the number to call is (818) 238-3025 on Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Burbank Police Completing CALEA Accreditation Phase

Editors Note: We would like to welcome well respected reporter Maria Hsin to myBurbank.  Maria will be concentrating on news and politics in Burbank.  She can be reached at mhsin@myburbank.com

As the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues its probe into alleged civil rights abuses by police in a 2007 bakery robbery, the department is racing to meet a self-imposed deadline to show they meet standards of excellence.

The Burbank Police Department is voluntarily participating in a program through the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA, an independent agency with ties to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Burbank City Council awarded $22,000 in 2011 that will cover the cost of applying and the first three years of accreditation, police said.

The roughly three-year process involves reviewing 480 accreditation standards and comparing those to Burbank’s current policies and practices.

Burbank is completing this self-assessment phase, and if all goes well, accreditation could be awarded this summer, police said.

Burbank Motorcycle Officers Turpin, Hensley, Lloyd and Murphy. Standing is Bureau Commander Lieutenant Jay Hawver. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Police Dept.)

Burbank Motorcycle Officers Turpin, Hensley, Lloyd and Murphy. Standing is Bureau Commander Lieutenant Jay Hawver. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Police Dept.)

There are currently five municipal law enforcement agencies in California that are accredited, including the Fresno and Garden Grove police departments, according to the CALEA website.

“It puts us in an elite group of people,” Police Chief Scott LaChasse said. “It should give officers pride to know we’ve been able to elevate ourselves by going through accreditation.”

CALEA accreditation and the almost constant review of policy it requires could be one of the keys to helping the department finally let go of its past.

In addition to peeking the interest of the FBI, the Porto’s Bakery robbery prompted investigations by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

To the city’s credit, it has since brought in professional oversight to train the Police Commission to be better watchdogs of the police department. Oversight also includes the random selection of police cases to ensure police follow proper procedure and that any discipline matches the transgression.

But despite achievements under a new command staff that include the creation of its mental health team, among a handful in Los Angeles County; the debut of a modern website; and making its arrest logs public; lawsuits by former and current police officers filed a few years after the robbery are in various stages of the legal process.

CALEA, founded in 1979 through a grant from the department of justice, was created by four executive law enforcement organizations, including the International Association of Police Chiefs, according to the CALEA website. Riots in the 1960s and 1970s led many to question the professionalism, integrity, training and hiring practices of law enforcement, and resulted in the establishment of a body of standards that police departments could voluntarily subject themselves to.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse at his swearing in ceremony (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

LaChasse said the CALEA process is similar to “having a forensic auditor here. It’s very comprehensive.”

He said CALEA accreditation “demonstrates to the public and outside government entities that are looking at us that we’re not afraid of being open or transparent.”

LaChasse added: “The department has come a long way.”

Lt. Armen Dermenjian, an 18-year veteran who LaChasse appointed to the task, has been working on the accreditation process since fall 2011.

Dermenjian said once police  complete the self assessment, an on-site review could take place by April.

Burbank Police Command Staff. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police Command Staff have worked to make the department more transparent and volunteered for the CALEA accreditation (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The visit by CALEA officials would also include a meeting with residents. The meeting would be publicized and CALEA officials want to not only ensure Burbank police have all the proper policies in place, but want to see how the community view their police department, Dermenjian said.

CALEA requires an organization to annually review all policies for changes or additions, Dermenjian said.

“We may have a 20-year policy, followed for 20 years without review,” Dermenjian said. “In the ever-changing world we live in now, it is crucial to review policy.”

CALEA wants you to have the right policy so you can follow it and wants to see that you are indeed following it, Dermenjian said. The annual estimated cost to maintain accreditation is $5,000.

“There are almost always two parts: do you have the policy and are your people following the policy?” he said.

Dermenjian said he likes doing the work although sometimes it requires a walk to the Starbucks a few blocks away.

“It can drive a person crazy reading policy all day,” he added.

Burbank Police's Notar Helicopter is constantly visible patrolling the skies  (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police’s Notar Helicopter is constantly visible patrolling the skies (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

“I think it’s important work,” Dermenjian said. “I’m a strong believer in CALEA. It’s not something that’s going to make a bad organization into an exemplary organization by itself. Agencies in the CALEA process have to believe in CALEA.

“Those are the agencies that will benefit. The main reason [to do it] is CALEA forces an organization to look at itself…to ask 480 questions about how and why things are being done.”

Dermenjian said the accreditation process is important even for an exemplary organization.

“The organization might be perfectly healthy,” Dermenjian said, “but that doesn’t mean it should stop living healthy.”