University Police Awarded Tier II Accreditation Status

The University of New Haven police department was awarded tier II status by the Connecticut Police Officers Standards and Training Council  (POSTC) in September.

The department is the only accredited private university police department , across all tiers, in Connecticut.

According to university police chief Tracey Mooney, the new status requires the department to comply with 83 specific standards. These standards are based on nationally-recognized best practices in contemporary professional policing, and involve aspects of legal requirements, management, and operations.

The accreditation program is one of POSTC’s primary focuses. The POSTC seeks to improve “the delivery of law enforcement services, primarily through a voluntary law enforcement agency state accreditation program organized and maintained in the public interest,” according to their website.

The Accreditation Program is accessible to all departments in Connecticut and includes 322 standards set by POSTC that are achieved in three successive tiers, starting at tier I.

According to POSTC, the standards are meant to allow agencies to meet various goals, including the establishment of “fair and non-discriminatory personnel practices,” and to “boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency,” among others.

Accreditation is a new “progressive and contemporary way of helping police agencies evaluate and improve their overall performance,” said Mooney.

The accreditation process has five phases: application, self-assessment, on-site assessment, post-council review and decisions, and maintaining compliance and re-accreditation.

“It provides formal recognition that an organization meets or exceeds general expectations of quality in the field – through a state of Connecticut assessment process,” said Mooney.

The university police department is unique, according to Mooney, because their community outreach model allows them to “meaningfully build relationships with the campus community.”

Mooney said she thinks it is the events that the officers take part in throughout the campus community that make them stand out, and helps them receive accreditation.

“We are active participants in this community – whether it be attending or facilitating ORL trainings or participating in activities with the student body -– our department members realize their role is to protect our community –but we can really compliment that public safety aspect by including ourselves in positive activities,” said Mooney. “I just want to recognize my officers as some of the finest men and women in law enforcement, and I am hoping the campus community joins me in that sentiment.”