Message to the UC Davis Community about Police Department Accreditation
As we prepare to enter a new year, I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your hard work and dedication. During my first 100 days as Chief of Police, I have come to know the UC Davis Police Department as a professional group of individuals who are firmly committed to promoting an inclusive environment built upon diverse cultures and perspectives. I see a police department that genuinely cares about the UC Davis community, and proudly serves the students, faculty, staff and visitors of UC Davis equally and fairly.
When I arrived, I highlighted my vision and goals for the UC Davis Police Department. As discussed in my first letter, it is critically important that we objectively assess ourselves, along with our policing policies and practices, in order to enhance trust, both internally and externally for the UC Davis Police Department. I also made a commitment to stand beside you in our endeavor to build upon the reputation established by our predecessors, and strive towards a more modern, highly effective law enforcement organization. I am proud to say that I have watched as each and every one of you – both sworn and non-sworn – reflect upon what it means to serve the UC Davis community with honor and distinction. And now, I would like us to demonstrate our agency’s commitment to our service population by voluntarily adhering to accepted professional practices through accreditation.
While I understand the accreditation process can be challenging, I believe we all want the same thing; to be a national model in campus law enforcement, with a reputation of having sound policies and procedures, staffed by well-trained, professional members. I strongly believe we can accomplish that together through accreditation. My vision is to first obtain accreditation through the Internal Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). IACLEA is the leading authority for campus public safety, and accreditation through this entity constitutes recognition that a campus law enforcement department, such as ours, conforms to the highest professional standards. Once we have accreditation through an organization that is specific to campus operations, I want our department to once again explore accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). CALEA is an organization that is nationally recognized as the gold standard in public safety, and emphasizes multiple accreditation programs to include general law enforcement, training academy, dispatch operations, and campus security. Accreditation through these two entities will undoubtedly expand our crime prevention and investigation operations, provide you with more modern training focused on officer safety, improve our agency’s preparedness for large scale emergency incidents, and enhance community confidence and trust.
When I was appointed as Chief of Police, I committed to you that I would encourage a culture of accountability, and lead an organization that functions well beyond the status quo. I now ask you to commit yourselves and our department to excellence through a framework of well-established professional practices. I have full confidence in our abilities to evolve; and a change of this magnitude will be something we can all be proud of. Furthermore, this is change for the better. It is important to recognize that “better” is not just defined by us, our industry, or an accreditation body. Better – for us – is also defined by the student body, the faculty members, staff and the UC Davis community. Accreditation through IACLEA is our first step in that direction.
Joseph A. Farrow
Chief of Police