The Honolulu Police Department was awarded national accreditation on July 12, 2003, and was re-accredited on July 12, 2006, July 12, 2009, July 12, 2012, and on July 25, 2015.
On July 12, 2018, the Honolulu Police Department was re-accredited with a Gold Standard Assessment and also received the CALEA Meritorious Award for having been accredited for 15 or more years.
In 1979, the CALEA was created through the combined efforts of four major law enforcement organizations:
- International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
- National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)
- Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
What is accreditation?
Accreditation recognizes professional excellence in law enforcement services by complying with national standards. Accreditation status for law enforcement agencies is similar to that of accredited institutions such as hospitals, colleges, and universities.
The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) is pursuing accreditation to improve the administration of law enforcement services to the citizens of the City and County of Honolulu, the employees of the HPD, and the community as a whole.
Goals of Accreditation
The goals of CALEA are to:
1. Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities.
2. Formalize essential management procedures.
3. Establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices.
4. Improve service delivery.
5. Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination.
6. Boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency.
The accreditation process consists of the following phases:
3. On-Site Assessment.
4. Commission Review.
5. Maintaining Compliance of Standards for Reaccreditation.
The Honolulu Police Department was awarded national accreditation at the CALEA conference in Detroit, Michigan, on July 12, 2003.
The accreditation period is for four years. During this time, the HPD must submit annual reports that document continuing compliance with applicable standards. Reaccreditation occurs at the end of the four years, pending another successful on-site assessment and hearing before the Commission.
Topics Covered by Accreditation
The standards address six major law enforcement subjects:
1. Role, responsibilities, and relationships with other agencies.
2. Organization, management, and administration.
3. Personnel administration.
4. Law enforcement operations.
5. Prisoner- and court-related services.
6. Auxiliary and technical services.
Compliance of Applicable Standards
Agencies that seek accreditation are required to comply only with those standards that are specifically applicable to them. Applicability is based on two factors: an agency’s size and the functions it performs. Applicable standards are categorized as mandatory or other than mandatory. Agencies must comply with all applicable mandatory standards and 80 percent of applicable other-than-mandatory standards. If an agency cannot comply with a standard because of legislation, labor agreements, court orders, or case law, waivers may be sought from the commission.
Seeking to establish the best professional practices, the standards prescribe what agencies should be doing, but not how they should be doing it. That decision is left up to the individual agency and its chief executive officer.
Benefits of Accreditation
- Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. It requires written directives and training to inform employees about policies and practices, facilities and equipment to ensure employees’ safety, and processes to safeguard employees’ rights. Employees can take pride in their department, knowing it represents the very best in law enforcement.
- The HPD will be better able to defend itself against lawsuits and citizen complaints. Many agencies report a decline in legal actions against them once they become accredited.
- Accreditation standards give the chief of police a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation.
- Accreditation will provide objective evidence of the HPD’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service delivery. Thus, government officials are more confident in an agency’s ability to operate efficiently and meet community needs.
- Accreditation embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which the police and citizens work together to prevent and control crime. This partnership helps citizens understand the challenges confronting the HPD and gives the department clear direction about community expectations.
For more information about the accreditation process, contact the HPD Accreditation Section at (808)723-3374 or The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. at (703)352-4225.