MADISON - The Madison Police Department is seeking community support for an upcoming accreditation review required to retain the agency's national recognition for excellence.

The review from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is set to examine all aspects of the city's police department, and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session set for Monday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. inside the City of Madison Justice Complex at 2001 Main Street.

Madison Police Chief W.E. Waldrop described the review as a service to the citizens of Madison that will let them know their department is running a tight ship.

"Verification by the team that the Madison Police Department meets the commission's state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain advanced accreditation," he said. "[The accreditation] is a highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence."

The MPD has been accredited through the program since 2001, but is required to be re-evaluated every three years.

In a press release announcing the information session, CALEA program manager for MPD Vince Dauro said that the assessment team, which is made up of three out-of-state public safety practitioners, will review written materials, interview individuals and visit offices and other locations during their review. The assessment is set to begin when the trio arrive on Aug. 17.

The City of Madison paid $10,100 for the assessment, and pays an annual fee of $4,065 to remain accredited.

CALEA literature touts accreditation from the organization as a means for developing or improving upon a law-enforcement agency's relationship with the community, and for providing CEO's with the reports and analyses required to make informed management decisions.

If individuals would like to provide comments, but are unable to attend the information session, they can weigh in by phone by calling (601) 500-2832 on Tuesday, Aug. 19 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Telephone comments, as well as appearances at the session, are limited to 10 minutes and must address the department's ability to comply with CALEA standards. A document that outlines those standards - which includes 379 different criteria - is available at Madison Police headquarters.