The LSU Police Department was awarded accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., or CALEA, in the Law Enforcement program on Friday, Nov. 13, following a vote of CALEA’s 21-member board. CALEA Accreditation serves as the International Gold Standard for Public Safety Agencies.

“The safety and security of our campus community is our highest priority, and the CALEA accreditation reflects the LSU Police Department’s commitment to serving our students, faculty, and staff with highest standards of professional excellence and transparency,” said LSU Interim President Tom Galligan. “We’re grateful for the dedication and service of the LSU Police Department, and we congratulate Chief Bart Thompson and every member of LSUPD team on this significant achievement.” 

LSUPD exists to provide a secure and safe environment through professional law enforcement services that enhances the educational process. The department supports the university mission through delivery of high-quality services to the university and surrounding community.

“Congratulations for all the hard work and dedication to the accreditation process,” Thompson said of his officers and LSU staff who assisted in the accreditation process. “Only 14 percent of law enforcement agencies are accredited. The LSU Police Department is one of only 78 university departments in the country, and the first state university in Louisiana to meet CALEA’s best practices of law enforcement standards.”

LSUPD traces its lineage back to 1938 when Charles R. Anderson was hired as a night watchman. On June 17, 1942, Anderson was appointed the Chief Watchman and continued to serve as Chief until retirement in July 1973. In 1968, the Louisiana legislature granted Police Officer status to University Security Officers. The official name of the Department was later changed to Louisiana State University Police.

CALEA was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police; National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; National Sheriffs’ Association; and the Police Executive Research Forum.

“CALEA congratulates the Louisiana State University Police Department for demonstrating a commitment to professional excellence through accreditation,” said W. Craig Hartley Jr., CALEA executive director. “The CALEA Accreditation indices are the ‘Marks of Professional Excellence’ and should be displayed proudly by those that have earned them.”

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.

Specifically, CALEA’s goals are to strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities; formalize essential management procedures; establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices; Improve service delivery; Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and Increase community and staff confidence in the agency.

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.