The New York State University Police Department at SUNY Oneonta strives to serve our campus community with the utmost professionalism, reliability, and efficiency. To that end, we have been hard at work at maintaining our status as an accredited law enforcement agency, and we are proud to announce that we have recently been re-certified as an accredited police department. Accreditation is a recognition that is conferred upon only the most exemplary law enforcement agencies in New York State by the New York State Accreditation Council, a component of the Division of Criminal Justice Services. This is no simple task, and has consumed hundreds of man hours by department personnel who have taken on this responsibility on top of their daily tasks, administrative and supervisory duties. The accreditation effort, coordinated by Lieutenant Michael O’Donnell, involves meeting state compliance on 110 individual standards, divided into three main categories: administration, training, and operations.
What this means to our campus community, essentially, is that our department has voluntarily undertaken a process to have representatives of the state analyze our department’s performance in each of the stated 110 individual standards. Many law enforcement agencies are unwilling or unable to meet compliance with these standards, which demonstrates our place as leaders among law enforcement agencies statewide. Our compliance is ensured through a lengthy application, a written report of the department’s status with each individual standard, followed by an assessment performed by the accreditation council. During the assessment, written directives are analyzed, compliance is documented, various staff members are interviewed to ensure the entire department is aware and compliant with each of the standards, and a general observation period, mostly in the form of on-site inspections, is carried out.
UPD first earned accreditation on June 14, 2012. This certification, however, is not permanent; the certification only lasts for five years. Therefore, an accredited agency cannot rest on its laurels for a one-time success, and must constantly work to continue to maintain its compliance with every single accreditation standard. Our certification was successfully renewed on June 8, 2017, which will be effective until 2022, when the department will be reassessed again.
The members of UPD have all worked hard to position ourselves as the role models among law enforcement agencies. We want our campus community to know that we can be trusted, respected, and will always conduct ourselves as professionals who rise far above basic standards. Everything from our departmental policies and procedures, to our usage of body cameras, to our proficiency in the various skills we possess as police officers have been voluntarily submitted to scrutiny in order to serve you at the highest possible level. We look forward to continuing our efforts to train, to improve, to learn and to grow and make our department better every day than it was the day before.
Officer Marcus Mallon