The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA), was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979 by four major law enforcement membership associations. These associations are 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 overall purpose of the Commissions accreditation program is to improve delivery of law enforcement service by offering a body of standards, developed by law enforcement practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date law enforcement topics. It recognizes professional achievements by offering an orderly process for addressing and complying with applicable standards. This process created a higher level of professionalism in the law enforcement community.
Successful completion of the accreditation program requires commitment from all levels of the organization, starting with the chief executive officer. To foster commitment, a decision for a department to participate in this program should be voluntary. To this end, the Commission insures that law enforcement accreditation is and will continue to be a voluntary program.
CALEA and the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety
The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety became involved in the accreditation process in 2000 and was officially accredited in 2003 and re- accredited in 2006. Maintaining the accreditation status is an on going project for the department. Currently this function is accomplished by the Accreditation Manager assigned to the Special Operations Division. This function does, however, require assistance from every employee in the agency. This is accomplished through every aspect of our law enforcement activities which include: all department patrol tactics and paperwork, policies and procedures, training and certifications, evidence procedures and function, etc. By maintaining the accredited status our department is able to recognize several benefits such as: Increased community advocacy, greater accountability with in the agency, increased support from the government officials, and improved employee morale.
The accreditation review cycles are three years in duration. At the conclusion of each three year cycle the Commission on Accreditation sends a team to examine all aspects of our departments policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services. The assessment team is comprised of law enforcement practitioners from similar, but out of state agencies. The assessors review written materials, conduct interviews of individual employees, and visit other areas where compliance can be witnessed.Once this review is complete the assessors will report back to the full Commission, which will decide if the agency is to maintain accreditation status.
The department has to comply with four hundred and fifty nine standards (459) in order to maintain the accredited status. By maintaining our current status the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety continues its commitment to providing the City of Orangeburg with professional law enforcement service to our community