UNH Police Department Recognized by National Credentialing Organization

Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations

March 23, 2004

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire Police Department has been awarded certification in the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Recognition Program, which required the department to meet nearly 100 national professional law enforcement standards.

UNH police officials traveled to California last weekend for the awards ceremony at the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) conference. (Courtesy photo)*
The department received its recognition certification March 20, 2004, at the CALEA spring conference in Pasadena, Calif. The UNH Police Department joins some of the state's largest departments in becoming accredited or recognized by CALEA. Other departments are Dover, Durham, Goffstown, Greenville, Hudson, Manchester and Nashua.

The CALEA Recognition Program serves as an avenue for smaller law enforcement agencies that wish to participate in a professional credentialing program. Prior to receiving its CALEA award, the department became recognized by the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council, the first to receive “NH State Recognition” under a revised state accreditation system.

“This is a big feather in our cap. It means a lot not only to the community we serve and our own academic community, but to the men and women who provide that safe environment for our students so they can get a quality education,” said Nicholas Halias, UNH chief of police.

In order to receive the recognition certification, the UNH Police Department had to meet 97 standards from the 4th Edition of the Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies manual. The standards address life, health and safety issues; legal and other critical requirements; and conditions that reduce major risk and high-liability exposures.

Officer Sabrina Bohun helped coordinate the recognition effort.

“Accreditation is a process that affects the whole police department. As with any department process, it takes a team effort. Accreditation is also a learning experience. It is a chance to evaluate your policies and procedures and to evolve in harmony with changes in the law or law enforcement practices,” Bohun said. “I am very proud of my department because everyone stepped up to the plate to ensure we achieved this accomplishment.”

The department will hold its CALEA Recognition certification for three years. At the end of this period, it will undergo a re-assessment to determine if it should be recertified.

“As a police officer, it is important to me to be doing the best job I can. Just as I expect the best from myself, I want the best for my agency. Being a law enforcement officer is a huge responsibility no matter if you work for a university, a town, a state, or a federal agency. What accreditation does is put on paper the good job officers do everyday,” Bohun said.

CALEA was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979 by the four major law enforcement membership associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs' Association (NSA); and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).


*The department was awarded certification in the CALEA recognition program. From left to right: Sylvester Daughtry, Jr., executive director, CALEA; UNH Deputy Chief Paul Kopreski; Officer Sabrina Bohun, accreditation manager, UNH police; UNH Chief Nicholas Halias; James O'Dell, chair/president, Board of Commissioners, CALEA.