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WMATA Transit Police seek accreditation


Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority’s Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) is trying to raise its own standard-of-excellence bar by seeking accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA), the national law enforcement agency accreditation organization.

"The accreditation will be a substantial achievement for Metro because it will identify our commitment to excellence in law enforcement, while placing our Metro Transit Police Department among the best in the field," said MTPD Police Chief Barry McDevitt.

Of the thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide, only 485 are accredited, including transit, campus and park law enforcement agencies, in addition to state, municipal and country agencies.

The accreditation process, which often takes years to complete, includes 443 standards to which agencies must adhere, divided into nine subject areas: role, responsibilities and relationships with other agencies; organization, management and administration; personnel structure; personnel process; operations; operations support; traffic operations; prisoner and court-related activities; and auxiliary and technical services.

The process requires five steps: application, self-assessment, on-site assessment, commission review and maintenance. MTPD entered the on-site assessment phase Aug. 18 when a team of law enforcement officers from other agencies arrived to examine Metro’s procedures and seek feedback from individuals inside and outside the department regarding its operations.

The public will have an opportunity to submit comments at an information session to be held at Metro headquarters Aug. 20.

Upon completion of the evaluation process, team members plan to report to the commission, which then will determine whether to award certification. If approved, MTPD would receive accreditation in November.