DSUPD receives first-ever Utah university accreditation

Chief of Police Blair Barfuss sets down the accreditation plaque during the board of trustees meeting on Sept. 27. Accreditation is voluntary in Utah. Photo by Madison Anderson.

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The Dixie State University Police Department received its accreditation at a board of trustees meeting on Sept. 27.

The accreditation was granted through Utah Chiefs of Police Association; DSUPD is the first university police department to be accredited in the state of Utah, and one of seven departments to receive this recognition statewide.

“[DSU] has done a great job ⁠— [Chief of Police Blair] Barfuss has done a great job of moving this forward in a very rapid manner,” said Vale Shupe, director of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association.

Barfuss said he has been working on this accreditation process since his hiring in May 2018, and the steps the police department went through were “extensive.”

According to Barfuss, accreditation requires:

  • “168 specific points of proof to show policy manuals, general orders, procedures, responses, and other police services meet industry best practices. This means for every point of proof, DSUPD needs to show a policy, photograph, explanation, or process, or how we meet or exceed each proof required.”
  • “[An assessor who reviews] the materials and determines if all written standards are met. If the written documentation is approved, the assessor conducts a site visit to inspect evidence processes, building standards, interview administrators and officers and determines if the agencies actions meet written standards.”
  • “Once an assessor approves the written documentation and conducts a site visit, the assessor writes a recommendation to the UCOPA board approving or not approving the agency. If the assessor approves, the UCOPA board votes to accept or reject the assessor’s approval. Once the board votes to accept the assessment report, the agency is officially accredited.”

“I want to congratulate Barfuss and his staff because it is a lot of work,” Shupe said.

Accreditation is voluntary in Utah. Upon completion, DSUPD received a plaque and a sticker to place on university vehicles to display its approval.

DSUPD’s achievement is creating a ripple effect throughout the state.

“We are very happy because we have had some other universities who have inquired that they want to be part of the process,” Shupe said.