Forsyth Co. Sheriff’s Office receives excellence award

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office was presented with the Accreditation with Excellence Award recently by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The presentation was made at the annual conference held in Jacksonville, Fla. last month.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is the first sheriff’s office in Georgia to receive the excellence award.

The agency was also awarded for the fourth time with the distinction of meeting over 400 standards to receive national accreditation status.

According to CALEA, the renewal of the accreditation status “represents the satisfactory completion of a continuous process of thorough agency-wide self-evaluation, concluded by an exacting outside review by a team of independent assessors.”

“Once again, I am proud of our agency,” said Sheriff Ted Paxton. “In 2001, we began working to become a state certified and nationally accredited agency. I made a commitment when I became sheriff that we were going to create an agency that meets the gold standards of public safety. In 2002, we received our state certification and then in 2003, we received our national accreditation. We have maintained those standards and surpassed them on several occasions. Our accreditation manager, Jim Lockwood, and the men and women of this agency deserve much credit for working towards these standards and maintaining them from year to year.”

The independent assessors, who are law enforcement professionals from agencies outside the state of Georgia, visited the sheriff’s office in August and then prepared a report that was submitted to the Commission on Accreditation.

“The agency demonstrated that they are very committed to the accreditation process with great pride for the success of the agency,” the report stated. “The agency’s files are in excellent order and easy to read …There is an appropriate amount of written documentation to support the agency’s compliance.” In addition, the final report stated that, “the agency has a good system in place, ensuring performance activities are conducted as required by agency directive and CALEA standards. The agency is providing a high level of service to the community it serves with a restrictive budget. This excellence is reflected not just through file review, but also through the actions of the agency personnel and the support of the citizens.”

In order to receive the Excellence Award, criteria that the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has to meet include: excellence in the development and implementation of contemporary policies and procedures; excellence in the ability to use the CALEA accreditation process as a tool for continuous organizational improvement; excellence in addressing the intent of CALEA standards, beyond compliance; and organizational culture supportive of CALEA accreditation.

“Your agency has clearly demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and CALEA accreditation has undoubtedly become an institutionalized management model for the organization,” said Sylvester Daughtry Jr., executive director of CALEA.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office was awarded its initial state certification in July 2002.

In November 2003, the agency received its national accreditation through CALEA.

The agency has maintained its state and national accreditation since that time.

In November 2009, the agency became the first sheriff’s office in Georgia to receive the “Flagship Agency” award, which is presented for excellent work.