Public meeting set to review UPD credentials

Students and community members will have an opportunity to share their opinions about the University Police Department at a public comment session Monday.

The forum will take place at 7 p.m. in room 309 at the Marvin Center as part of UPD’s recertification process with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

The international credentialing agency is also reviewing UPD’s records from the past three years. It last accredited the force in 2009, after initially stamping UPD with a seal of approval in 2006.

The commission tests law enforcement agencies on nearly 500 different benchmarks, including training, hiring practices and use-of-force procedures. UPD is among 51 campus police forces nationwide to receive the credentials.

The last public hearing session held for UPD’s 2009 recertification saw scant attendance, with just three students and feedback from two administrators. About 20 individuals attended the previous town hall for the department’s initial accreditation.

Maya Mitchell, a program manager at the commission, said feedback from the public provides a chance for assessors to hear how community members evaluate the force’s service and back up what paper records may show.

“We want to know if, in fact, the agency is doing what they say they are doing,” she said.

Mitchell added that if a standards-related issue came up, the assessors would go back and look at those policies or complaints to verify UPD’s procedures. The extra layer serves as another way to receive information on law enforcement agencies, she said.

For UPD Chief Kevin Hay, student feedback at the town hall session would help point the department toward areas with room for improvement.

“We are hoping that a fair amount of students attend the event, as it will provide them an opportunity to share their experiences, both good and bad, with the department and with the assessment team,” Hay said.

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