Thin Banner
Thin Banner

Go To Search
Print PageEmail Page
City of Pismo Beach
760 Mattie Road
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Ph: (805) 773-4657
Law Enforcement Accreditation

In November of 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 three 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 481 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.

Visit the CALEA website at

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. In August, 2013 the department was audited by two assessors from CALEA who spent four days in Pismo Beach examining all aspects of the police department and interviewing numerous members of the community, including a public town hall meeting, to ensure the Department was in compliance with CALEA standards.

In March of 2014, Chief Jeff Norton, City Manager Jim Lewis, Mayor Shelly Higginbotham along with several police staff members traveled to Garden Grove, California to appear before a panel of CALEA Commissioners. After interviewing the Chief, his staff, the City Manager, and the Mayor, the Commission voted unanimously to award the Pismo Beach Police Department its 3rd National Accreditation.  This cycle however, the Pismo Beach Police Department was able to improve once again and achieve CALEA’s “Accredited with Excellence” status based on the high score of compliance.  The Pismo Beach Police Department remains the smallest municipal agency in California to achieve and retain full accredited status.  

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.

    For more information about the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program, please visit