The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to maintain its accreditation by The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., a credentialing authority.
As an accredited agency under the CALEA program for the past 20 years, the sheriff’s office must undergo a series of assessmentsevery three years in which the commission reviews the department to ensure it complies with policies and standards.
Lt. Ken Summers with the sheriff’s office department of professional standards, said the agency aims to receive its Gold Standard Assessment as a participant of the program. He said the accreditation is significant to the agency’s image in the community.
“We promote a culture of excellence and we’re not just trying to meet the minimum standard,” he said. “We’re trying to meet and excel standards and provide the best services that we can within our agency.”
During the on-site assessment, scheduled from today through Thursday, a team of CALEA-trained assessors will review the department’s operations. The team will also hold a public information session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the courthouse at 640 Ronald Reagan Dr. in Evans.
City officials, local business owners and residents are encouraged to attend to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the sheriff’s office, Summers said. Locals can also participate by sharing their comments from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday at (706) 541-2839.
Summers said the feedback allows the sheriff’s office to consider “best methods of handling community needs.”
“We are here to serve and work with the public,” he said. “We are a part of the community and this is a goal for us all. So by getting the input from the community it holds us accountable and shows us what the needs are.”
The team of assessors will report their on-site findings to the CALEA commission, which will then determine the agency’s accreditation status.
If the sheriff’s office meets or excels the minimum requirements, it will receive a Gold Standard Assessment Award during the National Conference and Award Ceremony in March 2018.
“Accreditation is not the goal but the tool that we use to hold ourselves to a higher standard and to create better procedures for our agency and a better environment to those we serve,” Summers said.