The man from out of state swooped into town last week and spent four 10- to 12-hour days putting the Garden Grove PD under a microscope.
He had an encrypted password that gave him unrestricted backdoor access to 2,700 sensitive PD documents.
He had the ear of several city officials and community leaders as he peppered them with questions about what they thought of the GGPD.
Meanwhile, his partner, Lt. Darrin Abbink from the Colorado Springs PD, roamed the halls of the PD to check out the internal goings-on of the agency, digging into everything from its finances to strategies of recruiting new officers.
The Garden Grove PD wasn’t on the receiving end of such intense scrutiny because of any wrongdoing.
The examination was voluntary and cost the agency money.
In a little-known fact, the Garden Grove PD became, in 1988, one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to become accredited by a prestigious national agency.
And last week’s visit by two assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), established in 1984, was part of the GGPD’s effort to renew its accreditation for another three years.
Daniel V. Boring, a retired police chief from Virginia, was the man conducting interviews with outsiders who have a relationship with the Garden Grove PD, including representatives from Behind the Badge OC.
The genial ex-chief said CALEA recertification is “not a gotcha” process.
Said Boring: “We want these agencies to be successful.”
CALEA certification means a law enforcement agency meets 484 standards that prove it follows national best practices, Boring said.
Only 10 percent of the country’s PDs qualify for CALEA certification, said Boring, who with Abbink spent March 29 through April 1 conducting interviews and inspections at the GGPD.
By July, the GGPD will know if it has received CALEA certification for another three years, said Sgt. Jim Colegrove, the GGPD’s CALEA accreditation manager.
“The four-day onsite assessment went smoothly and I believe we are well-positioned to be re-accredited in July 2016 at the Baltimore CALEA conference,” Colegrove said.
Colegrove, GGPD Chief Todd Elgin and Capt. Kevin Boddy will have to appear before a sub-committee of four CALEA commissioners in Baltimore and answer additional questions, learn of any concerns (if any) and heed any advice prior to them announcing the results from the onsite assessment.
In a February 2016 memo to all GGPD personnel, Elgin wrote: “I fully expect to be reaccredited based on the efforts put forth by the police department’s CALEA staff members involved in this endeavor and because of the constant professionalism exuded by all members of our police department.”
The GGPD is one of only 14 police departments in the state that has achieved and sustained the CALEA accreditation and one of only three in Orange County (the others are the Tustin PD and the Cal State Fullerton PD).
The Buena Park PD should be coming on within a year if all goes well, Boring said.