Public praises sheriff’s office during reaccreditation process
Several citizens and community leaders spoke at a public comment session held on Monday as the Charles County Sheriff’s Office seeks its sixth reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Each CALEA accreditation, which is voluntary, lasts for three years and, upon renewal, a team of assessors inspects all aspects of the agency to ensure the commission’s standards continue to be met.
Among those who spoke were Kimberly Hill, superintendent of
Charles County Public Schools; Janice Wilson, NAACP branch president; Chief Carl Schinner of La Plata Town Police and several others, who all spoke highly of the sheriff’s office.
Hill told the assessment team she was proud to speak about the incredible partnership between the sheriff’s office and the school system. She expressed how valuable it is to have a student resource officer stationed at each public school in the county. Their outstanding relationship was built over time, she said, and “the [student resource officers] have created a culture of trust in our schools.”
“When something happens in the community, I know I can call Sheriff [Troy] Berry, and we can talk,” said Wilson, who praised the agency on its effective communication and relationship-building initiatives with the county. She also told the assessors about the full tour that was given to her and about 15 other NAACP members in March, which included a Taser deployment demonstration, a judgmental shooting simulation and an inside look at the detention center.
Schinner commended the sheriff’s office for being “very community orientated” and “mission-driven.” He also said how well the two agencies collaborate together, although “the true relationship cannot be spelled on paper.” In addition to conducting joint-agency traffic operations, he said the sheriff’s office has also assisted in various investigations when additional resources are needed.
On Tuesday afternoon, the assessment team also took phone calls from those unable to speak on Monday night.
On Wednesday, a representative from the Maryland Independent will be interviewed by the assessors on the effectiveness of the sheriff’s office media relations.
Once the assessment has concluded, the team will present its findings to the commission to determine if the sheriff’s office has continued to comply with CALEA standards.
Sheriff Troy Berry addresses and thanks community leaders before they were given a chance to speak to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies assessment team on Monday night.
Janice Wilson, president of the Charles County NAACP branch, commended the sheriff’s office on its effective communication and openness.