Milton Hershey School Receives Second Accreditation from CALEA

Milton Hershey is the only school, both public or private, to receive dual accreditation from the credentialing authority.

HERSHEY, Penn. — Milton Hershey School received its second accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), making it the first and only school in the United States to receive dual accreditation.

MHS earned its first accreditation for Campus Security in 2017 and has since been reviewed by CALEA annually, reports The pre-K through 12 boarding school will begin its scheduled reaccreditation for Campus Security this fall.

The latest accreditation recognized the school’s Central Monitoring staff in its Campus Safety department for excellence in Public Safety Communications. This particular accreditation assesses an organization’s processes for quality assurance, technology, risk analysis, training, and other operational functions to determine it is operating efficiently and meeting the community’s needs.

“The safety of the students we serve is always our top priority at Milton Hershey School,” said MHS President Pete Gurt, who graduated from the school in 1985. “I commend our Central Monitoring staff for their hard work and dedication. As the only school, private or public, in the nation to hold dual accreditation status from CALEA, the distinction speaks volumes about the caliber of experts we have on staff and our unwavering commitment to safety in every facet of our school.”

To achieve its dual accreditation status, the Campus Safety department demonstrated the implementation and compliance of more than 200 leading practices and security standards. Furthermore, all of its telecommunicators hold multiple industry-recognized certifications and participate in required trainings that certify they can properly and efficiently handle emergency communications.

“This milestone is a major accomplishment—not just for our department, but for our school as a whole,” said MHS Senior Director of Campus Safety Rick Gilbert, who was a 2020 Campus Safety Director of the Year finalist. “Being the first school to ever attain this distinguished honor underlines our school’s commitment to providing a safe and secure campus for our students and staff. It was a rigorous accreditation process, but our Campus Safety team’s desire to reach the highest level of service is what has gotten us to where we are today.”

The Campus Safety department utilizes a combination of vehicle, bicycle and foot patrols to heighten safety and increase contact with the school’s students, staff, and visitors. The MHS campus consists of more than 7,000 acres, 40 miles of roads, over 200 student homes and 40 administrative buildings.

Some additional notable achievements of the department include designation as a StormReady Community by the National Weather Service and the adoption of non-lethal weapons for department officers.

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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