The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office will soon host an assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA, in the hopes of reinstating its national accreditation.
From Aug. 13-15, assessors will review the agency’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services to determine whether it meets accreditation standards, according to Deputy Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
CALEA, a national program, certifies public safety agencies by using a body of standards developed by law enforcement professionals across the country.
The accreditation is a “highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence,” Sheriff Ron Freeman said.
In August 2015, after receiving accreditation for more than 12 years, then-Sheriff Duane Piper announced the agency would withdraw from the program.
During his campaign for sheriff, Freeman, who took office in January, said he would work to reinstate accreditation in his first 18 months in office.
The August review comes about 10 months sooner than that promise, and although a decision may not be made until several months after the review, Freeman said he is proud the agency is hosting the review team after just eight months.
“I’m very pleased to see the hard work our men and women do, and it just points to our strength as an agency,” he said.
In June 2016, the Forsyth County 911 Center hosted a review team for its inaugural accreditation application. That decision was not announced until Nov. 5 at the commission’s regional conference.
The accreditation was the first of its kind for the 911 Center. Their designation lasts for three years.
During August’s sheriff’s office review, CALEA’s accreditation team will offer several opportunities for public comment, as well as a public information session for citizens and agency personnel.
The information session will be held Monday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. in the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ meeting room, which is located upstairs in the 110 East Main Street, Cumming building.
Those who cannot make it but wish to comment can also do so between 2 and 4 p.m. Aug. 14.
Telephone and public comments will be limited to 10 minutes and should address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA standards.
Capt. Mark Flowers can provide residents with more information on the standards. He can be reached at (678) 455-8515.