This article was originally published for Appen Media Group.
August 9, 2017
MILTON, Ga. — The Milton Police Department received national certification from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies again July 29.
The department first received accreditation in 2014. Captain Charles Barstow, public information officer, said CALEA is a voluntary, four-year process that audits the policies and practices of the agency in accordance with legal requirements and best practices.
“For the bulk of the four-year cycle, the agency is in self-assessment mode, which means that we are constantly reviewing our policies, procedures and practices to ensure they include the most recent laws and updates, along with actually working for the agency,” Barstow said. “Towards the end of the cycle, the agency hosts a team of two or three assessors for an onsite audit.”
Barstow said the audit includes reviewing all the agency’s documents, meeting with community members, riding along on police shifts and interacting with the city staff and police department members. At the end of the audit, the assessor provides a final report of their findings, notating any deficiencies or problem areas so the agency can concentrate on them during the next self-assessment cycle.
Milton police hosted a team of two assessors who conducted the audit earlier this year.
At the end of the certification process, the agency attends a CALEA Commission hearing, where the agency’s representatives can answer any of the panel’s questions. From there, the commission determines whether the police department is in compliance with its standards and can be awarded certification.
Barstow said the Milton Police Department is one of only 754 law enforcement agencies worldwide who have completed the certification process.
“To put it in perspective, there are approximately 18,000 agencies just within the U.S.,” Barstow said.
Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said the city is proud of the Milton Police Department’s efforts to secure recertification.
“Third-party recognition of this level only serves as further validation of the department’s commitment to the community they serve,” Lockwood said in a press release.
Barstow also said the certification allows the Milton Police Department to continue using the best policies.
“It is an important certification for the agency because it not only allows the agency to compare and contrast themselves against other agencies, making sure that we are in compliance with any legal requirements and best practices,” Barstow said. “It also shows the agency’s commitment to provide our community with the best possible services and [atmosphere] that we can offer.”