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How can we help law enforcement agencies learn? A look at CALEA police accreditation

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Global protests against police brutality, particularly over the past five years, have increased the calls to adopt police accreditation, namely from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) (Abner, 2022Federal Register, 20202022). CALEA is the only international law enforcement accrediting body and accredits law enforcement agencies in the United States of America, Canada, Mexico and Barbados, who voluntarily agree to participate. While the adoption of CALEA accreditation is increasing, many law enforcement agencies still refrain from participating in the process due to the cost of becoming accredited and the limited evidence of its effectiveness. Doerner and Doerner (2009) note this stating, “much of the apparent reluctance to pursue CALEA approval stems from the concerns of police leaders regarding the actual value of accreditation and the high costs, both direct and indirect, associated with this endeavor” (p. 782).

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