Supporting Tribal Agency Accreditation
ALEAP was awarded the FY2021 Community Policing Development Program grant for use in assisting tribal agencies to achieve state accreditation. This grant will support and enhance existing tribal law enforcement agencies to attain state accreditation by providing funding, a Tribal Liaison, technical assistance, technology upgrades, and more.
Today, of Arizona's 22 Federally recognized tribes, 18 have their own law enforcement services, each with their own tribal cultures, customs, language, and traditions; however, tribal law enforcement agencies don't have to create a culture of accountability from scratch. The nature of police work comes with a long history of traditions and deeply held values. Police all over the world share core values such honor, bravery, and the duty to protect.
To create a culture of accountability in law enforcement, departments must emphasize values such as integrity, responsibility, and transparency. It's impossible to hold police officers accountable if there are no formal rules to hold them to. A department's policy manual outlines department expectations and sets clearly defined limits of acceptable behavior by their personnel. This is the universal standard for accountability. If there is a consistent issue or problem within the department, that can mean one of two things: Either there isn't a quality policy in place, or the department is failing to appropriately apply the existing policy. Either way, it's a problem.
Law Enforcement Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven method of assisting law enforcement agencies in measuring and improving their overall performance as compared to a set of industry best-practice standards. In 2018, the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AACOP) identified a gap in accreditation services to law enforcement agencies in the state of Arizona that did not have the resources to join the national accreditation program and developed the Arizona Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ALEAP) to address this gap.
The foundation of accreditation by the ALEAP program lies in the adoption of the 175 industry best-practice standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives focusing on high-risk, high-liability areas such as the use of force, vehicle operations/pursuits, property and evidence, and critical incident response. Participating agencies conduct a thorough self-analysis to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet these standards. When the procedures are in place, a team of trained assessors verifies that applicable standards have been successfully implemented.
TRIBAL PROGRAM ASSISTANCE
The ALEAP Program Manager and ALEAP Tribal Agency Liaison will be responsible for training all agency Accreditation Managers within the first 60 days of the program.
This training will consist of the history of accreditation, the goals and timelines for successful accreditation, collecting written directives and proofs of compliance, managing the assessment through an electronic document management system, legal update training, and development of an "Accreditation Checklist" for agency Accreditation Managers, Accreditation "Quick Facts" sheets for all departmental personnel to get buy-in from rank and file personnel as well as resources for tribal government leaders to better understand the accreditation process and the need for their agencies to become accredited.