Accreditation is a program that was designed by the members of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in an effort to increase the professionalism of police agencies throughout the United States. CALEA set forth to develop the accreditation process with four primary goals in mind:
To deliver law enforcement services effectively and efficiently
To enhance coordination with other criminal justice agencies
To increase ability to prevent and control crime
To increase citizen confidence in the agency
CALEA was formed in 1979, through the combined efforts of the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Officers (NOBLE), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriffs Association (NSA), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Executives from these four agencies appoint 21 individuals from law enforcement agencies and other areas of the public and private sector to form the commission. CALEA is a nonprofit organization. It is not part of, or obligated to, any governmental agency. CALEA's authority is derived solely from the voluntary participation of law enforcement agencies in the accreditation program.