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CALEA Update Magazine | Issue 86

Insurance Consortium Endorses CALEA Accreditation - Offering Financial Incentives to Member Cities

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For many years, CALEA Accredited law enforcement agencies have realized the benefits associated with such an effort are significant and many. From achieving added protections from civil lawsuits, to enhancing operations by ensuring that agency personnel are armed with clear and unambiguous policies and procedures, accreditation serves as a conduit that brings agencies to a level of excellence that has come to be expected of law enforcement in the 21st Century.

However, one of the challenges affecting the ability of many agencies to participate fully in the accreditation process is the lack of available funding. Although many agencies wish to pursue initial accreditation, they are thwarted by their city’s inability to provide necessary monetary support. For many police departments in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri area, this obstacle has recently become a concern of the past. Some 23 cities belonging to a self-insured consortium, known as the St. Louis Area Insurance Trust (S.L.A.I.T.), have entered into a unique agreement spearheaded by the City of Chesterfield and the Chesterfield Police Department.

Chesterfield’s City Administrator, Michael G. Herring, recognized the many benefits that accredited agencies enjoy, not the least of which is a significant reduction in payouts of insurance claims. In seeking to aggressively promote accreditation in the Greater St. Louis area, Mr. Herring petitioned the Board of Directors of S.L.A.I.T. to provide a financial incentive for those cities achieving CALEA Accreditation. As a result of Chesterfield’s efforts, on June 3, 2004, the S.L.A.I.T. Board of Director’s unanimously agreed to enter into a partnership with member cities which would reimburse 50% of the initial accreditation fee and 50% of the costs associated with the on-site expenditures, up to $5,000, whichever is less, once an agency receives accreditation.

In addition to the Chesterfield Police Department, two other members of S.L.A.I.T. are CALEA Accredited: the Hazelwood Police Department and the University City Police Department. It is anticipated that this financial incentive will serve as the catalyst for other municipalities in the St. Louis area to now pursue accreditation, particularly those who would have been unable to otherwise do so.

By instituting this course of action, S.L.A.I.T. seeks to not only support local agencies considering accreditation, but also hopes that their initiative will prompt other insurance consortiums to provide similar financial support for their member agencies nationwide. It is expressly this type of partnership that will strengthen law enforcement agencies and promises to reinforce the availability of professional accreditation for many years to come.

If you would like more information regarding this program, contact Michael G. Herring, City Administrator for the City of Chesterfield, at: mherring@chesterfield.mo.us or Chief Ray Johnson at: rjohnson@chesterfield.mo.us.

Author
Ray Johnson
Chief of Police
Chesterfield, Missouri Police Department
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