The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office recently became the first in Georgia to receive the Accreditation with Excellence Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
And for the fourth time, the local agency also received National Accreditation status, which required it to meet more than 400 standards.
The honors came last month during the commission’s annual conference in Jacksonville, Fla.
According to the commission, accreditation renewal “represents the satisfactory completion of a continuous process of thorough agency-wide self-evaluation, concluded by an exacting outside review by a team of independent assessors.”
In a statement, Sheriff Ted Paxton expressed pride in his office.
“In 2001, we began working to become a state certified and nationally accredited agency,” he said. “I made a commitment when I became sheriff that we were going to create an agency that meets the gold standards of public safety.
“In 2002, we received our state certification and then in 2003 we received our national accreditation.”
Paxton went on to note that the office has since maintained or surpassed those standards each year. He also recognized accreditation manager, Jim Lockwood, and sheriff’s office employees for the accomplishment.
The independent assessors, who are law enforcement professionals from agencies outside Georgia, visited the sheriff’s office in August.
Their final report stated that “the agency has a good system in place, ensuring performance activities are conducted as required by agency directive and CALEA standards.”
It continued, “The agency is providing a high level of service to the community it serves with a restrictive budget. This excellence is reflected not just through file review, but also through the actions of the agency personnel and the support of the citizens.”
The criteria the office had to meet for the Excellence Award included excellence in the following areas, among others: development and implementation of contemporary policies and procedures and the ability to use the CALEA Accreditation process as a tool for continuous organizational improvement.