BU Today

Campus Life

BUPD Up for National Accreditation

Community invited to opine to assessment team


Pursuing a national seal of approval for law enforcement, the Boston University Police Department needs to meet a few standards. All 482 of them.

From crime analysis to officer training to balancing the books, the BUPD must demonstrate to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) that it meets best practices. Assessors will spend four days on campus during the first week of August, BUPD Chief Thomas Robbins says.

Accreditation would bring “a highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence,” the chief says. (Prized indeed: Virginia’s state police are seeking CALEA’s coveted blessing, and the California Highway Patrol was accredited in 2010.) More than recognition, accreditation would also boost morale and officers’ focus on their jobs, benefits that Robbins says followed the department’s accreditation by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission two years ago.

BU community members are invited to give comments to the assessors during a public meeting at the George Sherman Union on Monday, August 5, at 6 p.m. Those unable to attend can submit comments by calling 617-358-6732 on August 5, between 10 a.m. and noon. You may also provide comments via the BUPD’s feedback form or the feedback questions on the BUPD’s “MyPD” smartphone app. Finally, you may send written comments to CALEA, 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030-2215.

CALEA’s blessing would mark the first national accreditation for BU’s 50-officer department, BUPD Detective Lieutenant Peter DiDomenica says.

Founded in 1979, CALEA uses assessment teams of “public safety practitioners from similar but out-of-state police agencies,” according to BUPD Sergeant Jack St. Hilaire. He says the team will review the department’s written materials, conduct on-campus interviews, and observe officers performing their duties. Chief Thomas Engelis, of the University of Texas Medical Branch Police Department, and Captain Zandral Washington, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department, will comprise the assessment team.

CALEA bestows a three-year accreditation, which likely would begin in November, Robbins says.

The BU community is invited to attend a public meeting with the CALEA assessors on Monday, August 5, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the second floor Conference Auditorium at the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave.

Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

5 Comments on BUPD Up for National Accreditation

  • K SUDHAKAR RAO on 07.22.2013 at 10:41 am

    What Boston University Police Department & Boston Police are doing to trace the culprit and find the cause of death of K.Seshadri Rao MBA graduate of Boston University who was shot dead on 19th April 2012. Though 16 months have passed none of the culprits have been apprehended or arrested. No information no updates are advised either to parents or the embassy or interpol. Pitiable condition. Let good sense prevail to unravel the truth.

  • SMG Student on 07.22.2013 at 11:43 am

    Does it really make sense to have a college department practice best policing practices on a national level? We don’t really experience the crime of major cities and the BPD is more than oppressive enough.

  • Public Safety Alerts on 07.22.2013 at 4:44 pm

    The comments above have me thinking, what role do BU police really have nationally?

  • Recent Alum on 07.23.2013 at 11:52 am

    Who cares? Is national accreditation supposed to diminish the displeasure most BU students have toward the BUPD? Don’t get me wrong, they have some great personnel, by why the need for credentials? Seems like an image-booster to me.

  • Ginnette Powell on 07.26.2013 at 4:03 pm

    Because it is a police force on a large metropolitan campus (post Boston Marathon bombing) it makes sense; they did offer and give assistance during that time. Let’s also consider that another university police officer Sean Collier was killed in the line of duty.

Post Your Comment

(never shown)