Sheriff's Office Awarded International Accreditation


The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office was awarded International Accreditation for a second time on March 23, 2013 through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

Sheriff P.J. Tanner recognized accreditation as a proven way to help law enforcement organizations evaluate and improve their overall services, performance and professionalism. So in December 2008, the Sheriff's Office entered the process of accreditation and implemented the self-assessment process in pursuit of CALEA accreditation.

Self-assessment is the internal, systematic analysis of the agency's operation and management to determine if the agency complies with the applicable CALEA standards. The standards required to achieve international accreditation are a blueprint of excellence in law enforcement services. The achievement of this award is a testament to citizens, government officials and law enforcement colleagues that the agency meets those higher standards.

Unlike audits that point out deficiencies without solutions, the accreditation audit mandates corrective action on deficiencies identified during the assessment process. To achieve accreditation, a law enforcement agency is required to comply with appropriately 1,000 standards with associated written policies ensuring compliance.

Currently only 33 municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies in South Carolina are accredited. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is the seventh of 46 Sheriff's Office in South Carolina to receive such accreditation. This accreditation strengthens the agency's accountability, limits liability and risk exposure, and assists in the agency's commitment in the pursuit of excellence.

Sheriff Tanner is very proud of the employees of the Sheriff's Office and the dedicated work and contributions each has made in order to achieve this recognition. He says the Sheriff's Office was committed to achieving international accreditation, and he is equally committed to maintaining this accreditation throughout his tenure as Sheriff of Beaufort County.

For more information on law enforcement accreditation, go to:

www.CALEA.org or www.thescpac.com

 

BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION 

The standards for accreditation impact officer and public safety, address high liability/risk management issues, and generally promote operational efficiency throughout the agency. The benefits are therefore many and will vary among participating departments based on the state of the department when it enters the process.  In other words, the benefits will be better known when the department quantifies the changes that it made as a direct result of achieving accreditation.  Generally, these changes involve policy writing, facility improvements and equipment purchases. Listed below are some of the more common benefits. 

Accreditation is important because it:

  • Provides a norm for an agency to judge its performance.
  • Provides a basis to correct deficiencies before they become public problems.
  • Requires agencies to commit policies and procedures to writing.
  • Promotes accountability among agency personnel and the evenhanded application of policies.
  • Provides a means of independent evaluation of agency operations.
  • Minimizes an agency's exposure to liability, builds a stronger defense against lawsuits, and has the potential to reduce liability insurance costs.
  • Enhances the reputation of the agency and increases the public's confidence in it.

Mooers added, “Police Certification and Accreditation serve to reassure the general public that the law enforcement profession is trained, prepared and ready to handle routine calls for service including large scale emergencies. Agency preparedness begins with having a current written directive system that incorporates best business practices into agency policies and operational plans.