Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
DOCJT IS FIRST ACADEMY IN THE NATION TO BE NAMED FLAGSHIP AGENCY
RICHMOND, Ky. – The Department of Criminal Justice Training became the first law enforcement training academy in the nation to be designated as a flagship agency by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies at CALEA's summer conference July 29 in Lexington.
"It is an honor to be recognized by CALEA as a flagship, as an agency that is setting a positive example for others," said David Hobson, accreditation manager for DOCJT. "Such an accolade symbolizes that we are excelling in our effort to provide the best training possible to Kentucky law enforcement, and that is what we want to continue doing."
DOCJT, which in 2003 became the first public safety training academy in the nation accredited by CALEA, also received its reaccreditation during the four-day conference.
A CALEA Flagship Agency represents an extraordinary example of excellence in an accredited public safety training or public safety communications academy that has been reaccredited at least once or a law enforcement agency that has been reaccredited at least twice.
The program was created in 2004 to acknowledge the achievement and expertise of some of the most successful CALEA-accredited public safety agencies and to present those agencies as examples to assist others, according to CALEA.
Flagship agencies are those that have demonstrated proficiency with meeting CALEA's standards.
DOCJT has done so "in such a way that it was exemplary," CALEA executive director Sylvester Daughtry said.
"We want them, since they have mastered this, to share with others," he said.
DOCJT has been assisting other agencies in working toward CALEA accreditation since it became accredited, including the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, the Knoxville Police Department's academy, Louisville Metro Police Department's training academy and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, DOCJT's Hobson said.
"A number of CALEA standards can be difficult to comply with, particularly for academies new to the process," Hobson said. "DOCJT has always worked with academies seeking accreditation. Sharing our experiences with them and assisting them is strongly encouraged by CALEA and DOCJT Commissioner John Bizzack."
DOCJT was among 12 agencies from eight states that were named flagships at the Lexington conference and had displays about their functions at the event.
Since the program began, 58 law enforcement agencies and communications centers have been named flagships, and now one training academy.
Aside from DOCJT, the Lexington Police Department is the only Kentucky flagship, and it is designated under the law enforcement agency category.
DOCJT is also the only CALEA-accredited training academy in the commonwealth.
"The academy facilities and staff are the best of the best but they continue to find new ways to improve their curriculum to meet the changing needs of their clients in law enforcement," Susan Maycock, the lead reaccreditation assessor, wrote in her report about DOCJT .
CALEA's 182 standards for accreditation as a public safety training academy are organized into nine topic areas, including organizational structure, human resources, instructional systems and student welfare. The program's purpose is to promote superior public safety training academy services and to recognize professional excellence.
"Being accredited with CALEA remains the fundamental foundation supporting the positive changes that have and continue to take place for DOCJT, and thus the Kentucky police community," Bizzack said. "It also continues to be the department's independent, third-party validation that it leads the nation in this area."
DOCJT is a nationally recognized agency that provides Kentucky's law enforcement officers with state-of-the-art training. It provides entry-level and professional development training for approximately 10,000 recruits and officers each year, including city and county police officers, law enforcement telecommunicators, coroners, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, airport and university police.
The agency was first certified by CALEA in 1998, at which time there was not a program specifically for accrediting training agencies. DOCJT and other training academies across the nation worked with CALEA to create the public safety training academy accreditation program, which CALEA implemented in 2002.