Police Chief Gene Waldrop presented the department's National Advanced Re-Accreditation Award with Advanced Meritorious Status to the Madison Board of Aldermen Tuesday. Receiving the award were, from left, city attorney Dale Danks Jr., Alderman Warren Strain, Alderman Pat Peeler, Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler, Waldrop, Alderman Mike Hudgins, Alderman Tawanna Tatum, Alderman Guy Bowering and Alderman Steve Hickok.
Police Chief Gene Waldrop presented the department's National Advanced Re-Accreditation Award with Advanced Meritorious Status to the Madison Board of Aldermen Tuesday. Receiving the award were, from left, city attorney Dale Danks Jr., Alderman Warren Strain, Alderman Pat Peeler, Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler, Waldrop, Alderman Mike Hudgins, Alderman Tawanna Tatum, Alderman Guy Bowering and Alderman Steve Hickok.
The Madison Police Department continues to be recognized for its commitment to professional excellence.

The department has been re-accredited for the sixth time, this time earning Advanced Meritorious Status from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This prestigious award is granted to agencies that have proven through policy and practice that they meet or exceed 484 national standards recognized by the commission.

“It’s a win-win for the department and the citizens,” Police Chief Gene Waldrop said. “This shows we have met the latest standards and practices of the law enforcement profession. This deals with all the policies and procedures on how we do business.”

On Tuesday, Waldrop presented the CALEA National Advanced Re-Accreditation Award to Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler and the Board of Aldermen. He also presented the certificate of re-accreditation from the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission the department received in July. Waldrop and Captain Kevin Newman received the CALEA award at its national conference in Jacksonville, Fla., in November.

“Job well done,” Butler said at the board meeting. “We thank you and are very proud of you.”

“We’re very excited about receiving the certification. We feel privileged to go through this program,” Waldrop said. “We want to thank the mayor and board for allowing us to go on this journey to accreditation.”

Because of the national accreditation, the Madison Police Department’s professional liability insurance is reduced, which is a financial benefit for the taxpayers, Waldrop said.

The Madison department was first accredited in 2002. Between 4-5 percent of law enforcement agencies across the country are accredited through CALEA, and the accreditation ensures citizens that the department is operating within state of the art law enforcement guidelines and principles. CALEA accreditation is recognized as the gold standard in public safety. CALEA accreditation is only awarded after an extensive, comprehensive and voluntary process focusing on the areas of policy, procedure, operations and management.

The CALEA Accreditation Assessment Team, including law enforcement officers from out-of-state agencies, conducted an on-site inspection of the Madison department in August, meeting with officers and community members. The findings were compiled into a final report that was presented to the full CALEA Commission during the recent national conference.

Madison’s department will apply for re-certification in four years. Until then, the department will show proof each year that it continues to meet all standards.