Charles County, MD – Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is pleased to announce the Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was awarded Excellence, the highest rating possible by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), on November 13, 2020, in the Law Enforcement Advanced Accreditation program. The CCSO also achieved the Meritorious award for having been accredited for 15 or more continuous years.
Following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment, and facilities by CALEA assessors, Sheriff Berry and members of his executive command staff attended a virtual CALEA Commission Review Hearing on November 12, 2020. Each agency that was reviewed went before CALEA’s 21-member Board of Commissioners where the commission reviewed all findings and determined the agencies’ accreditation status.
“Our agency was first accredited in 2001 and has steadily attained high standards during remote reviews and site-based assessments. I attribute our award of Excellence to the men and women of the agency who have worked so hard to maintain the highest quality of service to our county. Our Planning and Accreditation Team worked tirelessly to ensure this process, which is tedious and requires a great deal of attention to detail, and went above and beyond to ensure the assessors had everything they needed to do the most thorough review of our policies and practices. We are beyond honored yet humbled as we recognize that the Excellence rating is only awarded to a few agencies, internationally, during reaccreditation processes,” said Sheriff Berry.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual CALEA Conference, where agencies are formally reviewed and awarded in person, was taken online to a virtual format. On Friday November 13, 2020, the CALEA Commission voted to approve reaccreditation of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. CALEA President Anthony Purcell and Executive Director W. Craig Hartley, Jr. formally awarded the Charles County Sheriff’s Office with accreditation, signifying Excellence in public safety and commitment to community. This is the Charles County Sheriff’s Office’s seventh award of national accreditation.
“We are appreciative of the work performed by the assessors during each review as they are tasked with providing us critical review on our standards. They really spend a great deal of time with us interviewing our staff, community leaders, and members of our communities to determine if we have met the goals and standards expected of us,” said Sheriff Berry. “Having CALEA accreditation is imperative and helps enhance trust within our communities knowing our policies and practices have been reviewed by outside experts and they have determined we are providing excellent service to help keep our communities safe,” said Sheriff Berry.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979 by four major law enforcement membership associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA); and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The purpose of the Commission is to develop standards based on international best practices in public safety, and to establish and administer the accreditation process. The accreditation process is how a public safety agency voluntarily demonstrates how it meets professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.
“This award of accreditation does not come easy,” said CALEA President Anthony Purcell, Chief of Police, University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department. “Agencies must go through a rigorous review and evaluation of their organization and then implement the necessary policy and procedure changes. The process does not stop at that point. By voluntarily choosing to seek CALEA accreditation, the agency commits to an ongoing review of adherence to CALEA’s standards. Each community with CALEA accredited agencies should feel confident that their public safety organization is going above and beyond and operating under the highest standards in public safety.”
“Accreditation symbolizes professionalism, excellence and competence. Our employees take pride in knowing it represents the very best in public safety,” said Sheriff Berry. For more information about CALEA, visit their website at https://calea.org/.