CALEA

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA): 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.


Sheriff's Office Awarded International Accreditation

CALEA: Law Enforcement

CALEA: Communications

South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation:

Initial Accreditation

First Re-Accreditation

Second Re-Accreditation

July 31, 2010

July 31, 2013

July 31, 2016

Initial Accrediation

November 5, 2016

Initial Accreditation

First Re-Accreditation

Second Re-Accrediation

September 2, 2010

December 5, 2013

December 16, 2016

On June 17, 2011 the laboratory was accredited in Forensic Chemistry (Controlled Substances) and Forensic Biology – DNA by Forensic Quality Services (FQS) under the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005, the FQS Supplemental Requirements, and the FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories. As part of the requirements of accreditation, the laboratory undergoes a “Desk Side” Assessment or an onsite Partial Surveillance Assessment annually, with a full onsite Surveillance every fourth year. In May 2012, scope of accreditation was expanded to include Forensic Chemistry (Ignitable Liquids). On May 27, 2016 the Laboratory received a Surveillance Assessment by the accrediting body, ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board. The results of the assessment were successful, thus granting continued Accreditation for the laboratory.

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 40 municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies in South Carolina are accredited. There are also a total of 7 communications centers accredited. Nine of the 46 Sheriff's Offices in South Carolina have received 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. In addition to receiving international accreditation, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office also has been awarded state accreditation.

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.southcarolinapac.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.