The Oklahoma State University Police Department recently passed its reaccreditation with the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Accreditation Program administered through the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police. OSUPD was the first department to earn the accreditation with OLEAP and earned its recent reaccreditation with no errors noted.
Kevin McCullough, a law enforcement specialist with the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group and lead assessor on the reaccreditation assessment, said it is the first time in his 13 years with OLEAP that no corrections were needed.
“Many times, during a site visit, an agency will need to take some corrective action, modify a written directive, or supply some additional proof or evidence that the agency meets a certain standard,” McCullough said. “This was the first agency, that I know of, that had to take no corrective actions during the site visit to comply with the accreditation standards.”
The OSUPD follows 187 standards that govern everything from dealing with the mentally ill to arrest procedures. For reaccreditation, the department had to back up the policies with proof each was being followed. The accreditation process allows law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma to demonstrate they meet commonly accepted standards and best practices for efficient operations.
“Accreditation is like an audit in many ways,” said OSUPD Chief Leon Jones. “It allows us to be transparent, and it is very important that we stay on top of every aspect of our department. It is a way of letting our community know that we follow our policies, procedures and standards that are set by the OACP.”
Jones said everyone at the department played a role in the continuing accreditation efforts, and praised Sgt. Leah Storm, Assistant Chief Joe Milek and Capt. Colt Chandler by name.
“I would like to give special recognition to Sgt. Leah Storm for her tenacity in making sure we stay abreast of all standards,” he said. “As our professional standards manager, she has done an outstanding job. Assistant Chief Joe Milek, who is great at details, has the ability to motivate and bring our ideas to life. Capt. Chandler is also a great motivator and a real go-get-it type of leader. He has the ability to see the vision and connect with others so they understand and join in. Together, along with every member of the department, they created our error-free reaccreditation.”
The OACP presented certificates of commendation for leadership to Jones and Storm at the first class of the 2019 OSUPD Citizens Police Academy. Milek told the group that the department “blew their socks off.”
“We wouldn’t get accredited if it wasn’t for everyone on this campus — and this community project plays a big part in our accreditation,” Milek said. “The accreditation is a test to see if we can prove that we do what we say we are going to do, and one of those things is community-oriented policing. Our Citizens Police Academy provides members of our community better appreciation for not only what we do, but how we do it. Attendees walk away from the experience with a much better understanding and appreciation for the complexities associated with our profession.
During the reaccreditation visit, the assessment team observes, evaluates and documents how the agency handles the standards. Implementing policies that meet OLEAP standards and ensuring employees and officers adhere to these best practices is at the core of the mission.
McCullough said in his report: “The Oklahoma State University Police Department (OSUPD) is a well-organized and efficiently managed organization. Agency leadership is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated. They are constantly searching for more efficient methods to deliver professional services to the university community. OSUPD works closely with the surrounding jurisdictions, including municipal, county, state and federal. The agency administration is dedicated to the OLEAP Assessment Program and considers it a benefit for their organization.”