CALEA Hears Testimony from Community Members

By: Mollie Lair Email
By: Mollie Lair Email

UPDATE: 3/26/2012 10:44 PM

It's the second of a 3 day visit for a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. And this step of the process let citizens speak up about their concerns in the department.

The department got mixed reviews from community members who spoke at the meeting. While some praised them for their hard work, there were also complaints.

Some feel the department is unfair and ignore policies. One man gave personal testimony about how he felt the police abused their power.

All of this weighs in on the decision, but citizens say they trust the judgment of the assessors.

"I just want them to be aware of everything that is going on. If they get accredited then I'm sure that the gentlemen feel they deserve it and absolutely fine. If they don't, then absolutely fine. But iI just want them to be aware of everything. You know if they're treating low end citizens like me this way then how are they treating everybody else?" says resident Joseph Ellison.

If you couldn't attend the meeting you can submit written comments about the Parkersburg Division of Police’s ability to meet the standards for accreditation to: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155.

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An assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies arrived today to begin an on-site evaluation.

They will evaluate the Parkersburg Police Department on procedures, management, operations, and support services. They are the only department in the state with this accreditation and must undergo review every 3 years.

Officials say it is important to the department to have standards of operation for themselves and the community.

"I think it sets standards. It gives the guys something, what's expected of them. I've got these rules and regulations and that's what is expected of me. And that's what we go by and that's what the community wants us to go by these rules set up by these law enforcement agencies that to come together to form this," says Captain Keith Roberts.

There is an opportunity for the public to call and comment to the assessors. An information meeting will be held Monday, March 26 at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

If you can't make it to the meeting call 304-484-8441 between 2 and 4 p.m that same day to leave your comments.


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