Burleson Police earn excellence award
The Burleson Police Department has earned its 10th re-accreditation with the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and this year received the excellence award, the highest level of honor that CALEA awards.
The department was the first in Texas to be accredited with CALEA in 1997, police chief Billy Cordell said.
“This is the gold-standard for law enforcement agencies,” he said. “So to be accredited for a tenth time and receive the excellence award on top of that is quite an accomplishment.”
To be accredited by CALEA, law enforcement agencies must pass a review. A department’s policies and procedures must fit inside an industry standard. Every three years two CALEA assessors will visit a department and will write separate evaluations. After the evaluation, a police chief and the department’s accreditation manager go before the CALEA commissioner to answer questions based on the report findings.
“We couldn’t have done this without everyone’s help and those who work behind the scenes, including Mike Alley, our accreditation manager,” Cordell said.
Moreover, Cordell said what makes the department so special is the officers it hires. The departments hiring standards are very high and it recruits the very best.
“We hire very qualified individuals,” he said. “Our standards are very rigid. To put on that Burleson PD badge, you have to have taken care of your life in a manner that shows and demonstrates integrity and honesty and trustworthiness. It starts with great hiring practices and goes to accountability and transparency.”
That sort of integrity was recently demonstrated when police received a call one evening of children being rowdy in a Walmart parking lot. When police arrived on the scene, they found the children playing football under the parking lot lights, as temperatures had been over 100 degrees that day. Instead of telling the children to break up the game, police turned on their bright patrol car lights and allowed the children to keep playing.
“In the end, our civilians and officers buy in to the philosophy that they want to be higher level officers and want to serve at a higher level,” Cordell said. “A small gesture garners a lot of trust and love for our department and officers.”