Rhode Island College Police Department Earns International Accreditation

RIC POLICE Earn international accreditation
Rhode Island College Impact

Campus police department notched another honor, the second in two years. Pictured from left are CALEA Executive Director Craig Hartley, RIC Vice-President of Administration and Finance Stephen Nedder, RIC Chief of Police James Mendonca and CALEA Chairperson Marcus Brown.

The Rhode Island College Police Department received another feather in its cap. 

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), a group internationally recognized as representing the gold standard for public safety agencies, granted four years of accreditation to the RIC Police Department, making it the only public institution of higher learning in Rhode Island to reach such status and one of 12 police departments in the state that is CALEA-accredited. Only five percent of law enforcement agencies in the nation are internationally accredited.

The department went through a rigorous self-study of its policies, practices and processes to obtain compliance before a review was done by CALEA assessors. RIC police were recognized for reflecting universally best practices in policing and for providing exemplary police services to the campus community, Mendonca says.

“The CALEA accreditation process is a collective effort, and I am extremely proud of the hard work and devotion that the men and women of this agency have displayed,” RIC Police Chief James Mendonca says of the 21-member force. “Their commitment to the principles and standards of best practices has transformed our department into an organization that demonstrates a steadfastness to professional excellence in policy and practice.” 

The CALEA distinction marks the second honor achieved by RIC police within two years. In 2021 the department was awarded state accreditation by the Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission. To obtain that accreditation, the RIC Police Department developed its 57 policies, including guidelines on everything from handcuffing procedures to use-of-force measures.  

Mendonca is now the only Rhode Island police executive to have led two agencies to CALEA accreditation. He was formerly chief of police in Central Falls, where he led the department from municipal bankruptcy to CALEA and RIPAC accreditation within five years.