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Cal State LA PD Undergoes on-site Assessment and Active Shooter Training

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Two Cal State LA Police Officers patroll University State Drive

Two Cal State LA Police Officers patroll University State Drive

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Two Cal State LA Police Officers patroll University State Drive

Alex Montgomery, Contributor

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On the evening of Wednesday, April 5, a public information session was held by the Department of Public Safety at the Annenberg Science Complex. The session was part of an on-site assessment of the Cal State LA Police Department by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). Several members of the University’s law enforcement community, including quite a few representatives of the Eagle Patrol as well as officers of the Cal State LA Police Department, were in attendance. Few members of the public however,  appeared to voice their own personal concerns.

CALEA was established in 1979 by several law enforcement affiliated organizations, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA). Since then, the organization has accredited hundreds of law enforcement agencies worldwide, including and especially important to our campus, the Cal State LA Police Department. The Department was last assessed by CALEA in 2014.

The information session was administered by two representatives of CALEA: Karen Ashley, and Tom Nesko. To kick off the meeting, Ashley, leader of the CALEA investigative team assessing the Cal State LA Police Department, read from a scripted statement explaining CALEA’s function and their presence at Cal State LA. Ashley also explained why members of the public that came forward to voice their concerns did so with aplomb, and assured that the issues presented would be looked into as soon as possible.

“Basically, there are over 400 standards that cover a variety of functions in law enforcement, from communications, property and evidence, patrol, traffic enforcement…” said Ashley in a post-session interview. “Agencies volunteer, they choose to be accredited through CALEA…they have to write their policies and procedures in accordance with the standards…and then they have to demonstrate they’re in compliance for three years, and that’s when a team comes out (not associated with the agency) that audits the agency…”

Ashley went on to explain that after members of the team conducts a thorough investigation (which might include conducting interviews, going on ride-alongs, etc.), they report back to CALEA and it is determined whether or not the agency in question conformed or didn’t conform to the standards provided.

Independent of CALEA’s assessment, the Cal State LA Police Department also conducted a simulated active shooter training exercise over spring break; Lieutenant Larry Bohannon elucidated on this matter in a separate post-session interview.

“Every CSU campus is required to do an active shooter training…we teamed up with our neighboring agencies, which was the LA Sheriff’s Department, LAPD, CHP, LA City Fire, and LA County Fire…we partnered up with the Criminal Justice Department here on campus, and they sent over several students to help us with role-playing,” said Bohannon. “They were playing the roles of people who had been shot or people who were just evacuating the area…we were training our officers on how to tactically enter the building, tactically chase down a suspect, and how to neutralize that suspect.”

Lieutenant Bohannon stated that active shooter exercises are usually conducted once a year, on some scale or another, and made abundantly clear that the most recent was “very successful”.

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