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A rare honor for a university police force came BU’s way last month, when the Boston University Police Department was awarded a prized national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

BUPD Chief Thomas Robbins says the department sought the designation, which followed state accreditation in 2011, not just for its public stamp of excellence, but as a way to improve morale and officers’ job focus. CALEA, the first national police group to accredit the 50-officer BUPD, sent a team to campus last summer to assess the department’s procedures and solicit BU community members’ opinions of the force. Accreditation requires that a police force meet 482 standards, including officer training, crime analysis, and sound financial management.

Fewer than 50 other university forces are accredited by CALEA, and the Universities of New Hampshire and Massachusetts are among the few in the Northeast, according to the BUPD. The California Highway Patrol was CALEA-accredited in 2010, and Virginia’s state police just won the group’s nod too.

Robbins says accreditation, which is good for three years, acknowledges “the hard work and dedication put forth by the entire membership” of his department. “This award reflects our department’s commitment to excellence and our goal of providing the best in police services to the BU community.”