Over a year ago, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office began the process of accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) under the leadership of Sheriff John Cottle. CALEA is an international credentialing authority for law enforcement agencies. Law Enforcement Accreditation process focuses on standards that provide best practices related to life, health, and safety and procedures for the Sheriff’s Office.
“I worked to gain CALEA accreditation for the Sheriff’s Office in March 2008; however, the accreditation was lost under the previous administration,” said Sheriff John Cottle. “In general, the program helps deputies to meet basic community service expectations and prepares command staff to manage critical events.”
“It is important for the residents of Lincoln County to understand CALEA accreditation is a law enforcement platform for excellence and reform. The policies and practices of the Sheriff’s Office are modern and reflect the 21st century of law enforcement,” said Cottle.
CALEA was created in 1979 with the support of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriffs Association (NSA), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The purpose of CALEA is to improve the delivery of public safety services, by maintaining a body of modern law enforcement standards of policies and practices.
Typical accreditation standards cover role, responsibilities, and relationships with other agencies; organization, management, and administration, personnel administration, law enforcement operations, operational support, traffic law enforcement, detainee and court-related services.
Currently there are 576 law enforcement agencies in the State of Missouri, of which only 39 agencies are CALEA accredited to include one Sheriff’s Office. “Boone and Lincoln Counties are currently in the process of accreditation and I expect Lincoln County to be fully accredited in late July or early August,” said Cottle.