The Oxford Police Department is one of nine police agencies that has earned accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, which is considered the gold standard in public safety.
The department was awarded accreditation after a formal hearing on Nov. 15, 2019, in Covington, Kentucky.
“This distinction sanctions the professionalism and standards displayed by the department’s men and women and places our agency in the highest standard among law enforcement agencies throughout the country,” said OPD Interim Chief Jeff McCutchen.
CALEA accreditation is a voluntary process that requires agencies to submit annual reports showing compliance with the programs’ standards. Agencies must complete a process that includes an in-depth on-site assessment, community input and a formal hearing before a panel of commissioners. The assessment of these professional standards provides for a high level of transparency and commitment to an objective critique of the police department’s policies, procedures, and operating standards.
Earlier this year, an assessment team from CALEA spent multiple days in Oxford conducting interviews with elected officials, city executives, department staff, and community members; reviewing written materials and examining policies, procedures, and operations protocols across the full spectrum of department activities, including riding along with officers in the field to verify that policies and procedures were actually in practice.
The CALEA process was one that Chief Joey East had envisioned a few years back.
“Through his guidance and hard work of our staff we were able to see this goal come to fruition,” McCutchen said. “We are very proud and honored to be one of only nine law enforcement agencies in Mississippi to have received this prestigious honor.”