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Certification, DOJ Grant Eligibility

IACLEA Can Certify Campus Agencies for DOJ Grant Eligibility


All law enforcement agencies must demonstrate compliance with two mandatory principles found within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Standards of Certification to be eligible to receive DOJ discretionary grant funding. The requirement was announced on October 28 and seeks to ensure compliance with President Trump’s Executive Order (EO), Safe Policing for Safe Communities. The Standards are applicable to state, local, and university or college law enforcement agencies (LEA) seeking DOJ grants.  Under the Executive Order, failure to certify will prohibit agencies from receiving such funding.

IACLEA was selected by the U.S. Attorney General to serve as an independent credentialing body, and the Association has developed a streamlined application process for member and non-member agencies. There is no fee associated with seeking certification for IACLEA member agencies.  

College and university campus law enforcement agencies that plan to apply for DOJ discretionary grant funds should now quickly review their policies to determine whether they meet the criteria as set forth in the Standards of Certification.  If your agency plans to apply for DOJ discretionary grant funds for FY 2021, it must be certified or have started the certification process no later than January 31, 2021. The Certification will be good for three years from its date of issue. 

Department of Justice COPS Office Fact Sheet

Certification is open to the following public and private agency types:

  • Sworn, state-certified police agencies
  • Sworn, state-licensed agencies
    • If your agency licenses officers through the state as special police or similar, you should apply for certification.
    • If your agency licenses officers through the state as security officers or similar, you do not need to apply for certification.

IACLEA and the other national and state law enforcement accreditation agencies serve as independent credentialing bodies responsible for certifying law enforcement agencies’ compliance with the following two mandatory safe policing principles*:

  1. Adherence to applicable laws. The applying agency maintains the use of force policies that adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
  2. Prohibition of chokeholds. The applying agency maintains the use of force policies that prohibit the use of choke holders, except in situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.

*Please note that Accreditation does not fulfill certification requirements. Accredited agencies must also adhere to the procedures explained here.

Department of Justice Principles on Safe Policing and Use of Force

In addition to conferring certification, IACLEA is obligated to maintain and distribute a list of agencies it has certified to the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

President Eric M. Heath noted, “IACLEA has established a clear and efficient certification process to support you.  I am pleased that we have created a path for campus law enforcement to continue its eligibility for discretionary grant funding, at a time when we need such support more than ever.  I express my appreciation to our many volunteer leaders and to the IACLEA staff, who, together, so effectively demonstrate IACLEA’s presence and build upon our partner relationships.”

Please fill out the Application for Certification form. You will be required to attach three completed documents when submitting this form:

  1. Declarations Statement
  2. Letter Certifying Adherence to Applicable Federal, State, and Local Laws. A sample letter is available for download and completion.
  3. Your Agency Use-of-Force Policy



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