CALEA update

On March 26th, Seattle Police Department (SPD) met with Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) representatives concerning SPD’s inability to comply with one bullet of CALEA Standard 71.3.3 requiring firearms to be secured before entering temporary detention rooms.  This was not a CALEA standard in 2003 when SPD first received accreditation but a change that CALEA adopted in 2008.  SPD remains compliant with the 368 other CALEA standards that were required for its second reaccreditation awarded in March of 2010.  SPD representatives informed CALEA that mutual agreement between the department and the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG) would be required before incorporating this new standard into department policy.  In March of 2009 SPD representatives asked for and received a one year waiver exempting SPD from this new requirement.  A similar extension was granted upon reaccreditation in 2010.  The request made on March 26th however, was denied resulting in notice that CALEA would be temporarily suspending accreditation status pending adoption of the standard in question.

The contract between the City of Seattle and SPOG expired on December 31, 2010.  Unilateral implementation of CALEA Standard 71.3.3 would likely result in an Unfair Labor Practice (RCW 41.56.160).  Negotiations on the new City of Seattle/SPOG contract are currently underway.  Labor law prohibits the City of Seattle from publicly discussing the negotiation process. 

CALEA suspension is a temporary action regarding accreditation status until a final decision is made by the Commission.  This should not to be confused with accreditation revocation.  Agencies that have their accreditation status revoked must remove from view any indications of CALEA Accredited status.  For more information about CALEA, visit their Web site at http://www.calea.org/