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Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
- CALEA -
The Department first began exploring CALEA accreditation during the 1980s with the thinking that the CALEA accreditation would further enhance the Department's professionalism, efficiency, and effectiveness. In addition, the accreditation increases the cooperation and coordination with other police agencies and the community we serve. The Gwinnett County Police Department was initially accredited by CALEA in 1993 and has maintained its accredited status ever since. The re-accreditation process involves submitting annual reports to the Commission, attesting to continued compliance with over 400 standards, completing annual remote web-based assessments, and an on-site assessment once every four (4) years. The Department was last re-accredited in November of 2020.
CALEA is a voluntary, non-governmental agency formed in 1979 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriff's Association (NSA), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Together, they have created a body of standards that have furthered the professional level of service offered by local law enforcement agencies.
CALEA offers accreditation in the following areas: Law Enforcement Accreditation, Communications Accreditation, Training Academy Accreditation, and Campus Security Accreditation.
In April of 2020, the Department signed agreements with CALEA to begin the self-assessment phase for the Communications and Training Academy Programs. Policies were developed and documentation was gathered. In May of 2021, both Communications and Training completed their remote, web-based assessments and in June of 2021, they completed their remote on-sites.
On November 19, 2021, CALEA awarded the Department with the Communications Accreditation and Training Academy Accreditation Awards. By receiving these two additional accreditations, the Gwinnett County Police Department earned CALEA’s Tri-Arc Award and became the first law enforcement agency in the State of Georgia to receive this award. At that time, this distinction was held by only 21 agencies in the US and 27 internationally. This award is given to agencies that have concurrent CALEA accreditation for their law enforcement, public safety communications and public safety training agencies.
CALEA accreditation was not an easy task. The accreditation process involves reviewing and maintaining compliance with standards. Policies and procedures within each division, section and unit throughout our organization are reviewed and compared to CALEA's professional standards. As we look at each standard, we compile documentation of our compliance. The successful re-accreditation process of our law enforcement program and the initial accreditations of our Communications and Training Academy programs reflect favorably on the Department and the men and women who make our organization succeed every day. Of the more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the nation, approximately 756 have received full law enforcement accreditation through CALEA.
CALEA accreditation provides our Department with a framework within which it continues to improve the services offered to the residents of Gwinnett County. Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence.