“You wouldn’t send your child to a school that wasn’t accredited, so why would anyone expect any different of law enforcement,” said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress. “The Valdosta Police Department takes what we do seriously, and everything we do supports providing the top quality public safety services that our Valdosta citizens expect…and deserve.”
The VPD will be recognized at the Oct. 5 Valdosta City Council meeting by Executive Director Craig Hartley of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), who will present the VPD and city leadership with the department’s international reaccreditation award. Of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the nation, the VPD rises to the top along with only 5 percent that are accredited.
This marks the fourth reaccreditation award the department has received since its initial accreditation in 1999. Furthermore, this year’s award includes two distinctions:
- Meritorious Service—for being an accredited law enforcement agency for 15 years or longer; and
- Excellence—for the effective use of accreditation as a model for the delivery of enhanced public safety services and management professionalism. This is the fourth time the VPD has received this award.
“The voluntary process of CALEA Accreditation is not for every agency; In fact, it is really only for those agencies that strive to be the very best public safety service providers,” said Hartley. “It takes strong leadership, staff support, and a willingness to change. It also takes a commitment to transparency and a steadfast commitment to serve as an advocate for the process in the broader public safety community.”
In April, the VPD volunteered to allow a CALEA reassessment team interview its entire staff and examine its management, policies and operations. Dozens of residents and local leaders attended a public forum hosted by the assessors and commended the department for its fast response time, ease of access and professionalism.
Accreditation is awarded for four years, during which time the VPD must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with the standards and allow for standards verification throughout the four-year period. The VPD has continuously met and exceeded the commission's rigid 484 standards enforcement standards of proven best management practices.
“This accreditation is a highly-prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” said City Manager Larry Hanson. “Accreditation demonstrates to the public that the VPD measures itself against the highest standards in law enforcement and exceeds those standards as determined by independent review. We are proud of the men and women of the VPD for the work they perform and the service they provide daily to earn the public’s trust.”
The CALEA Accreditation Process is a proven modern management model that provides the VPD with a continuous blueprint of the efficient use of resources and improves service delivery. For more information about the CALEA process, visit www.calea.org.
The general public is invited to the Oct. 5 City Council meeting to show their support of VPD and to witness the presentation of the award.