The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA) was established as an independent accrediting authority in 1979, through the collaborative efforts of four major law enforcement membership associations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the National Sheriffs Association (NSA), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
The fundamental aim of CALEA's accreditation program is to enhance the delivery of law enforcement services by providing a comprehensive set of standards, developed by law enforcement practitioners, which cover a wide spectrum of contemporary law enforcement topics. This program acknowledges and celebrates professional accomplishments by offering a structured process for addressing and complying with these relevant standards. Consequently, this process has elevated the level of professionalism within the law enforcement community.
Successful completion of the accreditation program necessitates commitment from every level of the organization, commencing with the chief executive officer. To foster this commitment, a department's decision to participate in the program should be voluntary. In this regard, CALEA ensures that law enforcement accreditation remains and will continue to be a voluntary initiative.
CALEA and the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety
The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety became actively engaged in the accreditation process in the year 2000, officially earning accreditation in 2003 and subsequently renewing this status in 2006. The maintenance of accreditation status is an ongoing endeavor for the department. Presently, this responsibility is overseen by the Accreditation Manager within the Special Operations Division. However, the collaborative support of every department employee is required. This extends across all aspects of our law enforcement activities, encompassing department patrol tactics, paperwork, policies, procedures, training, certifications, evidence procedures, and more. The advantages of maintaining accredited status for our department are manifold, including heightened community advocacy, heightened internal accountability, greater support from government officials, and increased employee morale.
The accreditation review cycles span a duration of three years. At the conclusion of each three-year cycle, the Commission on Accreditation dispatches a team to conduct a comprehensive examination of our department's policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services. This assessment team comprises law enforcement professionals from similar agencies outside our state. The assessors scrutinize written materials, engage in interviews with department employees, and conduct on-site visits to observe compliance. Subsequently, these assessors report back to the full Commission, which ultimately decides whether the agency should maintain its accreditation status.
In order to maintain accredited status, the department must comply with four hundred and fifty-nine standards (459). By upholding our current status, the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety continues to uphold its commitment to delivering professional law enforcement services to the City of Orangeburg community.