BUCKHANNON — In April of 2018, Buckhannon Police Department’s Chief Matthew Gregory set his sights on achieving the “gold standard” in public safety—full accreditation through CALEA.
CALEA, the national Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, was created in the late 1970s on the foundation of credentialing authority in public safety agencies across America. When Chief Gregory attended a CALEA conference near the end of 2017, he said he was inspired by their mission and decided to take action.
As required for CALEA accreditation, BPD had to be in compliance with over 180 standards, in which their compliancy is practiced on duty at all times. Gregory wrote a manual for his agency, and the 3+ year journey began to provide CALEA with enough proof on the outstanding efforts of BPD.
Since beginning the process in 2018, and after more than 3 years of diligent work, the Buckhannon Police Department joined a Zoom meeting with CALEA Commissioners for some exciting news on July 15, 2021. On the Commission’s annual national conference day, they unanimously voted to award Chief Matthew Gregory and the BPD with full accreditation, with zero conditions. Buckhannon is one of only two departments in the entire state to be CALEA certified, the other being Parkersburg City Police.
“Today is historical,” Gregory beamed. He expressed, “As we bought into the concept and learned the process, it truly became a journey. And this journey is never about the destination. It’s an ongoing journey as we strive for our best practices, and to continually better ourselves.”