Campus News in Brief

University Police becomes state-accredited

On March 10, University Police became the first state-accredited university police force in Pennsylvania. The accreditation was granted by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association after an extensive review of the force’s policies, procedures, and operational standards.

There are 123 standards and 184 sub-standards that a police force must meet in order to be considered for accreditation, including having a secure evidence room and an audio- and video-monitored interview room, proper procedure, support of written policies, and efficient organization of operations.

To determine that Carnegie Mellon met all the required standards, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police conducted facility and vehicle inspections, interviews with police officers and dispatchers, examinations of personnel files and case records, and rides with on-duty patrols.

Each member of the force, comprising 24 police officers, 37 security guards, 12 shuttle/ escort drivers, five dispatchers, and one administrative associate, was carefully inspected.

University Police was especially commended for the quality and depth of its written operations manuals, service, attention to details, and commitment to the campus community.

“It is a great honor to receive this distinction,” said Sergeant Richard Sima of the University Police. “Everything was judged, from facilities to appearance to procedure. We put a lot of hard work into the process, had great leadership, and definitely learned a lot.”

The accreditation would not have been possible without changing the location of police headquarters in January 2006 from the old Student Center to their current location at 300 South Craig Street.

The move allowed for many of the physical requirements to be attended to, ones that would never have been possible in the former campus location.

Carnegie Mellon is one of only two accredited law enforcement agencies in Allegheny County, along with the Findlay Township Police Department.

Statewide, only 45 of the 230 agencies enrolled in the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation program created by the Pennsylvania chiefs have attained accreditation. The program aims to provide an incentive for agencies to promote professionalism and the continuous development of law enforcement agencies.

“We couldn’t be prouder to join this select group of organizations,” said Sima. “It shows that we have become a truly professional university force.”

Carnegie Mellon’s accreditation is valid for three years from its inception as long as University Police submits annual reports and statistics to show that they have maintained the stipulated standards and sub-standards.

Grad students honored

Carnegie Mellon will celebrate the achievements of students in its graduate programs during Graduate Student Appreciation Week, April 2–6. Provost Mark Kamlet and Vice President for Education Indira Nair will honor six outstanding students during the 2006–2007 Graduate Student Teaching and Graduate Student Service Awards ceremony. The event will take place today at 5:30 p.m. in the Kresge Theater in the College of Fine Arts.