The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is asking the community to be a part of the upcoming accreditation assessment of their office at a public information session.
According to a sheriff’s office news release, on Sunday, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) will begin the process of examining “all aspects of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office policy and procedures, management, operations and support services” to gain advanced accreditation.
“We’re Forsyth County, we lead the state in so many areas and it’s important that we prove that we are willing to be scrutinized,” said Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman. “We’re willing to let outside industry professionals come in, look at us and help reassure our citizens that we’re following the best practices of law enforcement.”
Freeman said that a previous administration of the sheriff’s department chose to withdraw from the national accreditation process, but when he took office, regaining that recognition by CALEA was one of his main priorities.
Within seven months of his election, Freeman said that the department regained basic accreditation — now they are seeking advanced accreditation by CALEA, which subjects them to a much higher degree of scrutiny.
CALEA’s website states that they require agencies to be re-accredited to their standards every four years, to ensure that they are living “by the letter and spirit of those standards” — standards that include over 400 different law enforcement topics, from use of force to fiscal management of an agency.
As part of the process, the sheriff’s office will be hosting a public comment and information session at 5 p.m. Dec. 10, in the Forsyth County Board of Commissioner Auditorium in Cumming.
Comments at the public information session will be limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA standards. More information on those standards can be found by contacting sheriff’s office Cpt. Mark Flowers at (678) 455-8515.
Anyone who wishes to provide comments to the assessment team but is unable to attend the meeting can do so by phone or by mail. All phone comments may be made to (770) 205-4678 from 2-3 p.m. Dec. 10.
Written comments can be sent to: Center on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320 Gainesville, VA 20155.