Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is pleased to announce the Charles County Sheriff’s Office recently underwent a rigorous reaccreditation process by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and, after a thorough review of agency policies and procedures, received the Gold Standard Accreditation with a Meritorious Award. “As an agency leader, I look at these assessments as a report card. We use this essential information as a reference to guide us as we move forward to policing in a more progressive and diverse community,” said Sheriff Berry.
The CCSO received its first accreditation in 2001 and every three years since. Before the 2016 assessment got underway, Sheriff Berry instructed his Planning and Accreditation team to apply for the most comprehensive review of agency policies and practices with the strictest guidelines.
CALEA already has strict guidelines to be accredited. However, CALEA does allow agencies to determine the type of audit they are seeking. For instance, agencies just starting out in the accreditation process might choose a standard file review assessment, whereas those who have been accredited for a minimum of two assessments – and who meet certain other requirements – can request a higher standard assessment. The criteria for the Gold Standard Accreditation are:
- Must have two previous accreditation awards at the level of accreditation being sought.
- Must not have had compliance issues in most recent assessment.
- Must not have had process management issues in most recent assessment.
- Must not currently be under a consent decree or memorandum of understanding.
- Must not be exercising agency-requested assessment extension option for current process.
- Must have submitted all three Agency Status Reports on time.
The CCSO underwent the on-site assessment process in August during which CALEA-trained assessors visited the agency to determine compliance with standards, view agency operations, conduct a public information session, and report their findings to the Commission for a final determination and accreditation status.
During their stay, the assessors heard from a number of citizens – including business owners, government leaders, and community activists – who provided remarks at an open, public forum. Some of the comments included references to the agency’s dedication to crime prevention and others focused on the agency’s strong involvement in community events, despite a significant increase in calls for service – up 18,071 calls from 2013 when officers handled 252,292 calls for service to 271,363 calls for service in 2015. “All of the speakers praised the agency’s commitment to provide excellent service,” said Sheriff Berry.
Based upon the report of the onsite visit, the CALEA Commission’s Review Committee then conducted a hearing regarding the agency’s compliance and announced the level of accreditation during a conference held in Charleston, South Carolina. “CALEA standards have become woven into the fabric of our culture. I give much credit to our Executive Services Division, led by Captain Stephen Salvas, and to Deputy Director Danny Johnson and his staff in our Planning and Accreditation Section – Reagan Henehan, Carol Davis, and Karlee Adams. They ensured all of the audited files were within CALEA standards. In addition, the professionalism demonstrated by each and every employee certainly factored into the level of achievement we received,” said Sheriff Berry.
According to a report prepared by the assessors, the team found the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to be well prepared, hospitable and exhibiting the highest levels of professionalism one would expect of a CALEA accredited agency. “During the static display and facility tour, the assessors were exceedingly impressed with all of our facilities, processes, operations and personnel,” said Henehan, who coordinated the onsite review.
In addition, the assessment report highlighted the agency’s recruiting efforts and pointed to two areas of note: the professionally-produced public service announcements and commercials showcasing the CCSO and the recruiting staff’s constant outreach to organizations such as local colleges, the local chapter of the NAACP, and the Chamber of Commerce.
“To obtain reaccreditation of this degree is remarkable,” said Sheriff Berry, “and it is a testament to the work performed day in and day out by our dedicated employees.” To learn more about CALEA, visit their website at www.CALEA.org.
Photo from left to right:
- W. Craig Hartley Jr., Executive Director, Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
- Captain Stephen Salvas
- Major David Saunders
- Sheriff Troy Berry
- Reagan Henehan (Accreditation Coordinator)
- Danny Johnson (Deputy Director, Planning & Accreditation)
- Phillip Hinkle (Chief of Staff)
- Brian Eley (Director, Administrative Services Division)
- Sergeant John A. Burroughs
- Sergeant Jonathan Burroughs
- Richard W. Myers, Chief of Police Newport News Police Department, Virginia, Chairman of the Commission
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit www.ccso.us.
Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES + the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at tipsubmit.com. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Learn more at the CCSO’s website.