The Office of Accreditation is responsible for maintaining the Sheriff’s Office’s accreditation through CALEA (Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.). The Sheriff’s Office received initial accreditation in 2003, and was re-accredited in 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015. The Sheriff’s Office is working on its fifth re-accreditation in October 2017.
The purpose of accreditation is to safeguard all personnel, improve management, provide systematic evaluation of all areas of operation, recognize achievement, and demonstrate accountability to the public. Accreditation is an on-going program to maintain superior professional standards, and is overseen by an accreditation manager.
In 2015, CALEA awarded the Sheriff’s Office the Gold Standard of Excellence. This award is reserved for agencies who have gone through multiple re-accreditations, and must not have had any compliance issues in the most recent assessment. The Gold Standard assessment focuses on processes and outcomes associated with standards specific to agency policies. It works to measure the impact of accreditation as opposed to simply confirming compliance through a file-by-file review. Assessors spend more time working with and reviewing law enforcement officers in the field, and less time reviewing files.
Blount County is one of just three Sheriff’s Offices accredited in Tennessee. In Blount County, Maryville and Alcoa police departments are also CALEA accredited.