The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, a State of Georgia Certified Agency,has received its third recertification.
An assessment team selected by the Georgia Police Accreditation Commission (GPAC) conducted an in-depth audit of the sheriff’s office standatds over two days to ensure it was in compliance.
In 2011, during Sheriff Randy Shirley’s first term, the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office was initially granted State of Georgia certification and was awarded one of law enforcements highest honors.
A plaque signed by then Gov. Sonny Perdue was given during an awards ceremony.
For an agency to be granted state certification, it requires compliance with more than 130 standards.
The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office has been able to meet or exceed those extensive requirements, making it one of the 126 out of 700 law enforcement agencies statewide, and one of only 25 sheriff’s offices in the state out of 159 counties.
On behalf of the assessors, the assessment team leader praised the work of certification manager, Lt. Stephen Stewart and all employees in Sheriff’s Office for their support and understanding of the state certification process, said Sheriff Randy Shirley.
Shirley also said one example given by the team leader was the efficiency of the methods used in cataloguing and storing evidence obtained by the agency.
Some of the benefits of certification include:
• Increasing the law enforcement agency's ability to prevent crime through more effective and efficient delivery of law enforcement services to the public.
• Enhancing the community understanding of the law enforcement agency and its role in the community, its commitment in ensuring agency transparency, as well as its goals and objectives.
• Committing the agency to a broad range of many outreach programs such as crime prevention which directly benefits the community.
• Creating a forum in which police and citizens work together to control and prevent crime.
• Assuring employees of every aspect of the agency's personnel system is in accord with professional standards, and that the system is both fair and equitable;
• Addressing safety issues and ensuring all employees receive proper equipment and adequate training.
• Increasing cooperation and coordination among other law enforcement agencies and other branches of the criminal justice system.