Lake Area law enforcement program achieves accreditation

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KXLG) – Lake Area Technical College’s Law Enforcement Program has achieved public safety training academy accreditation by CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement. CALEA accreditation serves as the international gold standard for public safety agencies. Over 800 law enforcement agencies across the country have received the accreditation.

Asa Stiles, who is the Law Enforcement Program Supervisor says since they are a college they fit into a different category, one of which there are a very few accreditations nationwide.

Stiles said even the CALEA Board said that to have a technical college accredited is something new.

According to Stiles, Watertown Police Chief Jo Vitek gets all the credit for the work it took to get the law enforcement program accredited.

So what does it take to receive the accreditation?

Stiles said when students graduate from the program, agencies will know that they were trained to the highest standard as required by CALEA. He says now the college must work hard to ensure the standards are being maintained in order to keep the accreditation.

Around 75 students have graduated from the Law Enforcement program since it began at Lake Area Technical College five years ago.  CALEA accreditation is a continuous process during which annual assessments will transpire until the site-based review occurs in July 2024.