Monday, November 5, 2012

Accreditation Assessment Team Invites Public Comment

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) will arrive November 4th, 2012, to examine all aspects of the North Charleston Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services.

Verification by the team that the North Charleston Police Department meets the Commission’s state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain accreditation. Chief Zumalt describes the Commission as, “a highly-prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.” Zumalt adds that in order to gain accredited status, the department had to comply with 480 standards that were recognized as the top police practices in the nation.

Captain Joyce Smith, the Accreditation Manager for the North Charleston Police Department, said the assessment team is comprised of law enforcement practitioners from similarly sized, but out of state agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals and officers, and visit sites where compliance can be witnessed. The assessors are:

Team Leader: Deputy Chief Michael Webb (Abington Township Police Department) - Pennsylvania
Team Member: Laura Saunders (Burlington Police Department) – North Carolina

Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to receive accredited status. Accreditation is for three years, during which time the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with those standards under which they were initially accredited.

As part of the on-site assessment, the public and agency employees are invited to offer comments on the department’s services and performance at a Public Information Session on Monday, November 5th, 2012, at 6:00 PM. The session will be held in the Montague Room, 2nd Floor at North Charleston City Hall, located at 2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC.

If for some reason an individual cannot speak at the Public Information Session, but would like to provide comments to the assessment team, he/she may do so by telephone. The public may call (843) 740-2819 on Monday, November 5th, between the hours of 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

Telephone comments, as well as those made at the Public Information Session, are limited to ten minutes and must address the department’s ability to comply with the CALEA standards. A copy of the standards is available at the North Charleston Police Department.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the North Charleston Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards of accreditation may send them to:

13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320
Gainesville, VA 20155

Anyone requesting standards or additional information may contact the Police Department’s Accreditation Manager, Captain Joyce Smith, at 740-2838.

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