CALEA Accreditation

The Bowie Police Department has been internationally accredited through CALEA® since November 13, 2020. The Accreditation Manager is responsible for ensuring that the department maintains compliance with CALEA®  accreditation standards. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations. The CALEA® Accreditation program seals are reserved for use by those public safety agencies that have demonstrated compliance with CALEA®  Standards and have been awarded Accreditation by the Commission ( The Bowie Police Department pursued accreditation in an effort to improve the administration of law enforcement services to the residents of the City of Bowie, Maryland and the community we serve. Accreditation helps our agency to remain current and effective in reaching that goal.  


What is CALEA Accreditation? 

Accreditation recognizes professional excellence in law enforcement services by complying with national standards set forth by the Commission.  


Purpose and Goals of Accreditation 

- Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities
- Formalize essential management procedures
- Establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices
- Improve service delivery
- Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination
- Boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency

Becoming Accredited
The accreditation process consists of the following phases: 

1. Application
2. Self-Assessment
3. On-Site Assessment
4. Commission Review
5. Maintaining Compliance of Standards for Reaccreditation 

The Bowie Police Department achieved CALEA Accreditation on November 13, 2020.  

The initial accreditation period is three years long. During this timeframe, the Bowie Police Department must submit reports annually that document continuing compliance with applicable standards. Re-accreditation occurs every four years with yearly assessments.


Topics Covered by Accreditation
The standards address six major law enforcement subjects:

1. Role, responsibilities, and relationships with other agencies
2. Organization, management, and administration
3. Personnel administration
4. Law enforcement operations
5. Prisoner- and court-related services
6. Auxiliary and technical services 

Compliance of applicable standards 

Agencies that seek accreditation are required to comply only with those standards that are specifically applicable to them. Applicability is based on two factors: an agency's size and the functions it performs. Applicable standards are categorized as mandatory or other than mandatory. Agencies must comply with all applicable mandatory standards and 80 percent of applicable other-than-mandatory standards. If an agency cannot comply with a standard because of legislation, labor agreements, court orders, or case law, waivers may be sought from the commission. 


Seeking to establish the best professional practices, the standards prescribe what agencies should be doing, but not how they should be doing it. That decision is left up to the individual agency and its chief executive officer.


Benefits of accreditation 

  • Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. It requires written directives and training to inform employees about policies and practices, facilities and equipment to ensure employees' safety, and processes to safeguard employees' rights. Employees can take pride in their department, knowing it represents the very best in law enforcement. 
  • The Bowie Police Department will be better able to defend itself against lawsuits and citizen complaints. Many agencies report a decline in legal actions against them once they become accredited.
  • Accreditation standards give the chief of police a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation.
  • Accreditation will provide objective evidence of the Bowie Police Department’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service delivery. Thus, government officials are more confident in an agency's ability to operate efficiently and meet community needs.
  • Accreditation embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which the police and citizens work together to prevent and control crime. This partnership helps citizens understand the challenges confronting the Bowie Police Department and gives the department clear direction about community expectations. 

For more information on the CALEA Accreditation process, visit