BLOUNTVILLE — As part of the process to remain an accredited law enforcement agency, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is seeking comment from citizens regarding the department’s procedures, operations and services.
The agency first achieved accreditation in 1995 and has kept it since by maintaining an annual review process and submitting to a more in-depth evaluation every fourth year by the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
This is a fourth year in the ongoing cycle of accreditation and the SCSO is in the process of a virtual assessment rather than a traditional on-site evaluation.
CALEA officials are reviewing the agency by livestreaming online.
A public hearing conducted Monday drew only two county residents.
Both had concerns about other areas of the judicial system and were given information on how to best get their issues addressed.
Accreditation by CALEA requires compliance with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services.
The CALEA Accreditation programs provide public safety agencies with an opportunity to voluntarily meet an established set of professional standards, which require:
• Comprehensive and uniform written directives that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.
• Reports and analyses to make fact-based and informed management decisions.
• Preparedness to address natural or man-made critical incidents.
• Community relationship-building and maintenance.
• Independent review by subject matter experts.
• Continuous pursuit of excellence through annual reviews and other assessment measures.
SCSO Deputy Chief Tracey Kittrell said accreditation also supports the sheriff’s office’s goal of being as transparent as possible by having an outside group making sure it is meeting all those standards. Kittrell said Sheriff Jeff Cassidy’s practice of meeting with the public at community coalitions across the county are an example of this administration’s dedication to always being available to answer the public’s questions and hear the public’s concerns.
Public comment during the process of accreditation must be about the sheriff’s office’s ability to comply with CALEA standards.
A copy of the standards is available at the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. Contact Kelly Holley, accreditation manager, at (423) 279-6023 for further information.
Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office’s ability to comply with the standards for re-accreditation may send them to: The Com- mission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155.