URBANA, Illinois – The University of Illinois Police Department for the third time since 2012 has received Tier Two accreditation from the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP), the highest level of accreditation any police department in Illinois can receive.
That means the department has cleared 180 stringent accreditation criteria which seek to assure that the department’s policies and practices are consistent with top industry standards and that its police officers are providing a high level of customer service to the community.
“Our renewed accreditation shows that we are in line with the top industry standards in policing and, in many cases, exceeding them,” said U. of I. Police Chief Alice Cary. “Our number one goal is always to make our campus the safest is can possibly be, and this accreditation is one step along the way to ensuring that the University of Illinois Police Department is properly trained and prepared to do just that.”
Ed Wojcicki, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, highlighted UIPD’s work in providing mental health resources and collaborating with social workers as it earned high marks in community policing.
“The Illinois Chiefs commend the University of Illinois Police Department for demonstrating the highest standards of 21st century policing,” Wojcick said. “This department emphasizes care and safety for a highly diverse community. Our association recently highlighted the U. of I. PD in a statewide feature about how the police can work collaboratively and empathetically with social workers to take care of people’s real needs. The U. of I. PD is a leader in this area and a model for many other departments.”
Some of what ILEAP examines includes whether the department abides by a code of ethics, has specific set of policies and standards governing use of force, follows appropriate investigatory procedures, and has a strong community relations effort, among many other standards. The assessors also look at the internal functions of the department, like whether it has written directives prohibiting harassment and discrimination of any kind in the workplace.
The University of Illinois Police Department in 2012 was the first university department in the state to earn the Tier Two level accreditation, and has retained it ever since. ILEAP reviews UIPD according to all the same standards it uses to review a traditional city or county law enforcement agency.
“The work is never done,” Cary said. “UIPD will continue to strive to provide exceptional service to our campus and be responsive to the needs expressed by our community members.”
Representatives of UIPD and ILEAP will hold a virtual presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. to talk more about what ILEAP accreditation is, what it means for our community, and then take questions from members of the news media. For access to the virtual presentation, please contact Patrick Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-265-0028.