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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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One member of the public speaks at UPD reaccreditation forum

Albert Oglesby Jr., left, and Paul Willingham, two assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, hold a public information session for the GW community to offer comments on the University Police Department. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor
Albert Oglesby Jr., left, and Paul Willingham, two assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, hold a public information session for the GW community to offer comments about the University Police Department. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor
This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sara Amrozowicz.

Only one member of the public spoke at a hearing Monday for the University Police Department’s accreditation review.

The forum is one part of the certification process that the department has undergone every three years. Before the hearing, two assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies described the process, which includes reviewing UPD protocol and an on-sight review.

Gabriel Slifka, the director of GW’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, was the only person to publicly speak about the department to the accreditors, using the time to highlight communication between UPD and his office.

“We need to work cooperatively with students,” Slifka said. “Communication is key as we address student concerns.”

Representatives from CALEA reviewed the department on site from Dec. 14 to 16. UPD will find out early next year whether it has earned reaccreditation.

The outside accrediting body also awarded GW’s police a seal of approval in 2006, 2009 and 2012. Only a handful of community members attended the last public forum on accreditation in late 2011.

CALEA has certified about 50 university police departments across the country.

Since March, three GW officers have filed complaints against the department for race, gender or age discrimination, which could factor into the accreditation process, CALEA’s executive director has said.

Paul Willingham, one of the assessors, said this year marked the first time he has personally reviewed GW’s police department.

“Their product seems to be improving each time,” Willingham said.

He added that the recent retirement of UPD Chief Kevin Hay would not have an impact on the accreditation process.

“There are still the officers,” Willingham said. “You gotta keep delivering.”

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