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Cookeville Police Department Accreditation Tuesday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

The Cookeville police department will host a virtual accreditation Tuesday.

Any citizen can call in and comment on their opinion of the department’s contribution to the city. Major Ken Sircy said the accreditation process usually takes place publicly with assessors from around the country. Because of COVID, these assessors will be accessible through a phone or zoom call.

“For law enforcement, it really looks at more than anything else, case law, law suits, and criminal law that has across the country shown universal standards by which an agency should function,” Sircy said.

Citizens can call between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tuesday at (931)-520-5300. Sircy said the department’s accreditation is through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. He said law enforcement agencies have over 480 accreditation standards.

Sircy said the smaller the agency, the fewer standards they have to meet.

“The primary immediate benefit is it requires the agency to have comprehensive policies, and a policy manual that is a living document,” Sircy said. “It’s capable of changing and meeting the different demands of our department, and ultimately just the way we do things as technology evolves.”

CALEA is dedicated to eradicate and report on implicit bias in community policing. Sircy said agencies who aren’t CALEA accredited sometimes use excessive police force.

“Tennessee is disproportionately represented among CALEA,” Sircy said. “In other words, nationwide, the average is very low with how many agencies have accredited status. We have 32 law enforcement agencies in Tennessee, but that includes city, county, state agencies, and university police.”


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