The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA ®) is a credentialing authority (accreditation), based in the United States, whose primary mission is to accredit public safety agencies, namely law enforcement agencies, training academies, communications centers, and campus public safety agencies.
The Commission was created in 1979 as an independent accrediting authority by the four major law enforcement membership associations:
The primary purpose of the Commission is to improve law enforcement service by creating a national body of standards developed by law enforcement professionals. Furthermore, it recognizes professional achievements by establishing and administering an accreditation process through which a law enforcement agency can demonstrate that it meets those standards. CALEA derives its general authority from the four major law enforcement membership associations whose members represent approximately 80% of the law enforcement profession in the United States.
Along with being accredited through CALEA, on January 31, 2011 the Detentions Division obtained the American Correctional Association (ACA) Accreditation. ACA is the largest international correctional association in the world. An ACA audit involves assessments that cover administration and management, facility safety, and offender programs in our jail. It also assesses issues and concerns that may affect the quality of life in our facility such as staff training, programs, and overall strengths and weaknesses of our agency. Through the accreditation process we are continuously reviewing our policies and procedures and we have the ability to make necessary improvements when deficiencies are recognized. The Detentions Division also continues to hold the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) Accreditation, which was received in March of 2010. The mission of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care is to improve the quality of health care in jail facilities. The last NCCHC inspection and audit occurred in August of 2012. This Certificate of Accreditation states that the Office has met all the requirements of accreditation under NCCHC’s Standards for Health Services.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was also just recently awarded with another high honor, the National Sheriff’s Association Triple Crown Award. This award was established by NSA to recognize those sheriff’s offices, which achieve simultaneous accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, the American Correctional Association’s Commission on Accreditation for Corrections and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare. Achieving these accreditations individually is a daunting task. Acquiring all three at the same time is an extraordinary feat. In fact, the Triple Crown distinction is so rare, that since the establishment of the award in 1993, fewer than 40 sheriffs’ offices have qualified.
The Accreditation Unit continues to seek new ways to prove to the community that the employees of the Sheriff’s Office follow best practices. They are now working on CALEA Public Safety Communication Accreditation, and hope to have that award before the end of 2013. For more information regarding accreditation please visit the CALEA website.