The Greenwood Police Department's services and performance will once again be scrutinized during an on-site assessment as part of a program to maintain the accredited status the department originally earned in March 1998.
According to Greenwood Police Chief Gerald Brooks, an assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) will arrive Sunday, December 2, 2012, to examine all aspects of the department's policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services.
"Verification by the team that the Greenwood Police Department continues to meet CALEA's state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to achieve reaccreditation," Brooks said. "Being accredited is a highly prized recognition of professional excellence in law enforcement."
As part of the on site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session Monday, December 3, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. The session will be conducted in the Municipal Courtroom located in theGreenwoodMunicipalBuilding,520 Monument Street,Greenwood,South Carolina29646.
Agency employees and the public are also invited to offer comments by calling (864) 942-8494 on December 3, 2012, between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Comments will be taken by the Assessment Team.
"Simply put, we must attempt to comply with 463 standards, " Brooks said. “The standards address nine major areas of law enforcement: role, responsibilities, and relationships with other agencies; organization, management, and administration; personnel structure; personnel process; operations; operational support; traffic operations; prisoner and court-related activities; and auxiliary and technical services.” A copy of the standards are available at the police department. For more information, telephone Greenwood Police Major Kevin Fallaw, accreditation manager, at 942-8484.
During its four-day visit, the CALEA team, composed of law enforcement officials from other states, will review written materials, conduct interviews, and visit offices and other sites where compliance can be evaluated. The assessment team will report back to the full commission at its meeting in Charleston, South Carolina in March 2013. If the Greenwood Police Department is awarded reaccreditation, it must still submit compliance reports annually and seek renewal of its accreditation every three years.
"Accreditation is not a one-shot program, but rather an ongoing commitment to long-term excellence," Brooks said. "It's a demanding law enforcement lifestyle of daily self-scrutiny, discipline, and effective communication."
Brooks also pointed out that accreditation "assures our citizens of the best law enforcement services their tax dollars can buy."
At present, only 39 of the 260 law enforcement agencies in South Carolina have earned accreditation from CALEA.