[Note: this story has been modified since its original posting.]
An international accrediting commission will moderate a public forum next week on the performance of the MU Police Department.
The forum is part of a review of the department by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, which will be in Columbia from Saturday through Aug. 9.
The commission’s reviewers will have access to the department’s files and will conduct interviews with department staff. They will also mediate the community forum Monday night, guiding citizen complaints toward a discussion of how the department can better meet its standards.
“It’s easy to step back and say, ‘We’re doing a great job,’ but it’s better to have an outside assessment of what you’re doing,” said MU police Capt. Brian Weimer.
“It helps with liability and personnel issues. For instance, if we were to go to court on a use-of-force issue, we would have proof that we were following the standards,” Weimer said.
The commission was formed in 1979 by a coalition of four law enforcement agencies. Its purpose is to standardize the quality of law enforcement throughout the world and encourage police departments to demonstrate voluntarily that they are following commission standards, according to its Web site.
For example, the commission doesn’t set policy about when to use force but it does set requirements for documenting what happened in those instances.