The CALEA accreditation programs involve a comprehensive review of a law enforcement agency's organization, management, operations and administration. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations:
- International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
- National Sheriffs' Association (NSA)
- Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
The benefits of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Police Department participating in CALEA Accreditation include increased community advocacy, reduced risk and liability, and greater accountability.
The EBRPD Police Department began the accreditation process in 2010 with a self-assessment examination by the agency to determine whether it complied with all applicable standards. It concluded with an on-site inspection by CALEA assessors and a final review hearing by the commission. Participation in the CALEA accreditation program is voluntary, but successful completion provides a law enforcement agency with a nationally recognized award of excellence and professional achievement. The EBRPD Police Department has received re-accreditation in July 2013 and in July 2016.
On July 21, 2020, during a virtual ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic, , the internationally-recognized Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) awarded the EBRPD Police Department with its fourth official accreditation, continuing as one of only sixteen CALEA-accredited agencies in California.
This award was distinguished in that it was an Advanced Accreditation award, which is intended to provide agencies an opportunity to be further recognized for the effective use of accreditation as a model for the delivery of enhanced public safety services and management professionalism. The Advanced Law Enforcement Program is specifically designed for elite organizations striving to demonstrate professional excellence within a comprehensive range of operational and administrative functional responsibilities.
At peak summer season, the East Bay Regional Park District's Public Safety Division is staffed by over 475 personnel, which includes 160 full-time equivalent employees (74 of whom are sworn police officers who derive their authority under California Penal Code Section 830.1). In addition, the division employs 170 seasonal lifeguards and 186 members of a Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol, and 33 ON Call Responder firefighters.
The department includes an Air Support Unit, Marine Patrol, Equestrian Patrol, K-9 Unit, Special Enforcement Unit, Investigations Unit, and a 24-hour-per-day 9-1-1 Communications Center.