On September 1 of this year, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) celebrated the centennial anniversary of its first day of road service. Legend has it that on September 1, 1921, a handful of brave young patrolmen hopped on their Indian motorcycles at the base of the Capitol steps in the still developing Capitol Campus in Olympia, checked their side-cars filled with provisions for what could be months-long deployments across a vast state with still limited paved roadways, and rode into history.  

One portion of the year-long centennial celebration was the WSP Centennial Exhibit Hall at the Washington State Fair with a prominent display of the agency’s recent awards from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

WSP has officially become the 27th law enforcement agency in the world to hold the title of a “Tri-Arc” Agency – the premier accreditation level in law enforcement operations, training and communications.  This is the highest level of law enforcement accreditation available anywhere in the world and WSP is only the sixth state agency to receive the recognition in US history.  

For over two years, members of our Communications Division and Training Division, along with specialists from the Risk Management Division, spent countless hours working through agency policies, training, and processes to come in to compliance with international best practices that align with the Law Enforcement Accreditation currently held by the WSP for over 30 years. 

Earlier this year, the Communications Division and the Training Division underwent an individual electronic review, in which CALEA Service Members verified each group’s compliance within their individual standards, conducted employee interviews, and toured WSP facilities.

“We have worked hard for 100 years now to provide the best in service to our state and to the public,” said WSP Chief John Batiste.  “Our goal is to serve all with whom we interact with respect and dignity as we undertake our important and sometimes dangerous responsibilities of enforcing the law and keeping everyone safe.  The Tri-Arc Award is a symbol of the hard work the 2,000 plus WSP personnel give this state every day and the thousands that have served so well in our century of service and sacrifice.”