University of Texas at Austin Police Department Achieves International Accreditation

July 31, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin Police Department (UTPD) this week received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

"This distinction shows we are practicing the best standards of law enforcement, and recognizes the professionalism of our department," said Robert Dahlstrom, UTPD chief.

CALEA is internationally recognized as an authority on law enforcement standards. UTPD's accreditation was a three-year process in which officers documented how the department's prevention, enforcement and community presence measures up to the 446 CALEA standards.

"Lieutenant Darrell Birdett was instrumental in this process because he served as our accreditation manager," Dahlstrom said. "I am grateful to Lieutenant Birdett and our whole department for working so hard to earn this honor, which recognizes our professionalism and our commitment to the university community.

"We are thrilled to join the 700 plus elite law enforcement agencies across the country that are CALEA accredited," Dahlstrom said.

UTPD plans to reapply for the CALEA accreditation in three years.

UTPD serves and protects the 50,000 students, 17,000 faculty and staff, and thousands of visitors on The University of Texas at Austin campus. Founded in 1968, the department has the same authority and responsibilities as most municipal police organizations and has challenges unique to a large, nationally recognized university community. The department employs more than 130 people.

CALEA was established as an independent accreditation authority in 1979 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs' Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. CALEA develops law enforcement standards, and establishes and administers an accreditation process law enforcement agencies use to voluntarily demonstrate that they meet professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service.

For more information contact: Rhonda Weldon, The University of Texas at Austin Office of Employee and Campus Services, 512-471-4472.