Skip Navigation

College News

College Police Department receives international accreditation

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jul 23, 2018

The College of Lake County Police Department is the nation’s first, among two-year colleges with a fully sworn police department, to receive initial accreditation from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. The credential, which IACLEA announced July 1, recognizes the department’s professionalism, policies, procedures, facilities and equipment, according to CLC Police Chief Tom Guenther.

“I would put this agency and its personnel up against any municipal, county or state law enforcement agency of comparable size and feel confident it would equal or surpass total performance,” said Peg Gant, police accreditation specialist at the University of North Texas and one of the IACLEA auditors who conducted the on-site inspection at CLC in May. "Chief Tom Guenther recognizes that his greatest assets are the personnel who work at the CLC Police Department."Photo of CLC Police Department chief and officers

Accreditation is not mandatory for any police department, but it is a time-proven way of helping organizations evaluate and improve their overall performance, Guenther explained. “It’s a tremendous honor for our department to receive this accreditation,” he said. “It reflects well on the college, especially as many prospective students and their parents consider campus safety as a factor in evaluating a college. We take our jobs very seriously, and I have talented, educated and experienced staff that made accreditation possible.”

Photo: CLC Police Department representatives receive recognition of the department’s accreditation by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators July 1 in Orlando, Fla. From left: Officer Harry Bekiaris; Deputy Chief Kevin Grampo; Chief Tom Guenther; Jessica Luedtke, chair of IACLEA accreditation commission; Officer John Lawson; and IACLEA President David Bousquet. (Photo credit: ©Mike Ritter 2018 Ritterbin Photography.) 

CLC President Lori Suddick, Ed. D., said, “I commend Chief Guenther and the entire CLC Police Department for receiving this accreditation. Their hard work certainly has paid off, and our college truly is proud of their outstanding effort—now recognized internationally—to keep all three campuses safe.”

During their visit, Gant and another auditor examined CLC’s compliance with 215 standards, including evidence collection and storage procedures, policies, personnel training, police vehicles and the department’s physical infrastructure. The latter, consisting of a new Grayslake Campus headquarters, played an important role in receiving the accreditation. “Our new facility includes an interview room, temporary detention area, evidence storage and communications center, all meeting national best practices and state requirements,” Guenther said.

To prepare for the audit, Guenther said his staff spent two and a half years meticulously writing policies, procedures and evaluating operations. “In addition to their normal police duties, they worked very hard behind the scenes to prepare for the on-site evaluation by the auditing team,” said Guenther, who joined CLC in 2012 and previously served for 27 years at the Evanston Police Department.

Gant added that the college’s police department is “extremely fortunate” to have a number of experienced, veteran police officers with accreditation experience. “That fact enables CLC’s police staff to write comprehensive, standard-related policies, prepare their employees through training and recognize areas within the agency that could be enhanced to meet standards,” she said.

CLC’s accreditation is good for four years, but the police department needs to recertify annually, documenting that it is maintaining IACLEA standards, Guenther said.

The accreditation comes in the wake of other good news for the CLC Police Department. In April, it was a finalist for a national Award of Excellence in Community College Safety and Planning from the American Association of Community Colleges. Additionally, the department is seeking accreditation with the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs. If awarded this recognition, CLC would become the first Illinois two-year college police department to receive this accreditation.

To learn more about the CLC Police Department, visit www.clcillinois.edu/aboutclc/depts/sec.