Law Enforcement Accreditation

CALEA logoIn 2007, the Pismo Beach Police Department was awarded its first national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). To retain accredited status, the department must apply for re-accreditation every 3 years. The 36-month accreditation process entails an agency-wide commitment to make certain that written directives and facilities are in compliance with CALEA’s 484 rigorous national law enforcement standards, which cover the areas of management, personnel practices, law enforcement operations, training, support operations, records, and property/evidence preservation and control. This voluntary process culminates with an on-site assessment performed by CALEA assessors, who are trained public safety practitioners from similar, but out-of-state agencies.

Our most recent on-site assessment took place on August 3-6, 2020. The CALEA assessors completed their review of the agency and reported back to the CALEA Commission that the Pismo Beach Police Department had a perfect review! Members of the department and City Government accepted the award of Accreditation with Excellence at CALEA’s national conference in Charleston, SC in November of 2016.

For questions about the Pismo Beach Police Department’s participation in the accreditation process, please contact Commander Dan Herlihy at or (805) 773-7095.

CALEA Accreditation has become the primary method for law enforcement agencies to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement. The standards upon which the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is based reflect the current thinking and experience of law enforcement practitioners and researchers.

  • CALEA Accreditation requires an agency to develop a comprehensive, well thought out, uniform set of written directives. This is one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.
  • CALEA Accreditation standards provide the necessary reports and analyses a CEO needs to make fact-based, informed management decisions.
  • CALEA Accreditation requires a preparedness program be put in place so an agency is ready to address natural or man-made unusual occurrences within the community.
  • CALEA Accreditation strengthens an agency’s accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.
  • Being CALEA Accredited can limit an agency’s liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that internationally recognized standards for law enforcement have been met, as verified by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.
  • CALEA Accreditation facilitates an agency’s pursuit of professional excellence.

To provide valuable feedback, please visit the Accreditation Public Comment Portal here. The purpose of this public portal is to receive comments regarding an agency's compliance with CALEA standards, engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services, and overall candidacy for accredited status. These comments can be in the form of commendations or concerns. The overall intent of the accreditation process is to provide the participating agency with information to support continuous improvement, as well as foster the pursuit of professional excellence. 

For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, please visit or call (800) 368-3757.