STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- For the past couple of years, the Starkville Police Department has been taking steps toward gaining national accreditation in addition to its state accreditation.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is inspecting the department for three days.
The first day consists of an onsight assessment where the Starkville Police Department's equipment is inspected as the department is hoping to gain accreditation at the national level.
"In the past, we we're recognized by CALEA because of our state accreditation," Starkville Police Chief David Lindley said. "Now we're actually going for national accreditation, which is the gold standard for law enforcement agencies."
Two inspectors look over the department to make sure that the officers assigned to the specialty units know all the particulars in their areas of expertise: it's equivalent to a "show and tell" with an oral exam.
"We're basically here for three days to go through [every part] of the department," adds Scott Bowen, team leader for CALEA. "[We] make sure they're following what the CALEA standards say."
This marks the first time for the Starkville Police Department to go through this national accreditation process. By completing this program, Chief Lindley said this will enable them to better serve the community and the city of Starkville.
"If the police department does gain national accreditation, it will be something that is not handed to them," adds Bowen. "It will be something they earned and [show] the commission has made that decision. Basically, it's an outside stamp of approval to show that we have come in and looked at the department and they're doing what they say they're doing."
While everything from personnel to facilities is examined, CALEA officials said it's a very thorough process, all designed to make sure the department is in top-notch shape at all times.
"We have always strived to do here what is legally, ethically, morally and professionally correct, and in this particular case we can not only show that we do it but prove that we do it to our outside reviewers," added Lindley.
The reports will be presented to the CALEA commission where the results will be examined and determined within a couple of months.
The Starkville Police Department currently has 52 officers.
Three more officers are expected to be hired in the next couple of weeks.