NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WFXG) - North Augusta Public safety was awarded Law Enforcement Accreditation and they held a press conference to officially announce their accreditation. The Commission for Accreditation for law enforcement or CALEA has awarded North Augusta Public Safety national accreditation. It is usually a three-year process which North Augusta was able to complete in two and a half.
"The CALEA is the gold standard of law enforcement that sets the bar high for us and it does a lot of great things for the city of North Augusta," says Chief John Thomas, Director of North Augusta Public Safety.
This accreditation came with a very rigorous process of policy examination and self-assessment. The agency is also expected to write annual reports on their progress to continue to maintain their higher expectations. This accreditation requires them to update and be more specific with their courtroom security, detention facility procedures, and the way they transport prisoners. "There's more standard on the national side than there is on the state side. So, again, getting those documents in place and making sure that our people understand those policies and procedures," says Chief Thomas.
The staff believes this award will allow them to attract more officers and retain the members they have. "We joined that elite group. We have the opportunity to attract new people and sometimes, those people that we wouldn't typically get now will look at us in a different light," says Chief Thomas.
Chief Thomas says that he is grateful for his team and all their hard work. "I'm very proud of every individual in this department. We've strived so long for this moment and it's here and we're just as proud as we can be of each other. And I want to make sure that the community can and will understand that they have a nationally accredited agency that cares about them," says Chief Thomas.
North Augusta Public Safety staff says this accreditation will even further promote their mission to hold themselves accountable and be transparent with the community.