New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice awarded state cer­ti­fi­ca­tion

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The New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, is one of the “top 100 law en­force­ment agen­cies” in Ge­or­gia. On July 17, the NCSO re­ceived of­fi­cial no­ti­fi­ca­tion that they were awarded state cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by the Ge­or­gia As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice. This no­ti­fi­ca­tion con­firmed that they suc­cess­fully com­pleted all as­pects of the ac­cred­i­ta­tion process. Achiev­ing state cer­ti­fi­ca­tion places them in the com­pany of 76 sher­iff’s of­fices, 17 po­lice de­part­ments and five other state de­part­ments, in­clud­ing, the Ge­or­gia Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tions, col­leges and the Mar­shals Of­fice.

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is a self-ini­ti­ated process by which law en­force­ment agen­cies strive to meet and pre­serve stan­dards that have been es­tab­lished for the pro­fes­sion by the pro­fes­sion. These stan­dards are care­fully se­lected to re­flect crit­i­cal ar­eas of law en­force­ment op­er­a­tion, man­age­ment and tech­ni­cal sup­port ac­tiv­i­ties. They also cover ar­eas such as law en­force­ment emer­gency re­sponse plan­ning, pol­icy de­vel­op­ment, train­ing, use of force, ve­hic­u­lar pur­suit, prop­erty and ev­i­dence han­dling, hold­ing fa­cil­i­ties and pris­oner trans­porta­tion. This cer­ti­fi­ca­tion not only sets stan­dards for the law en­force­ment agency, but also for the de­liv­ery of law en­force­ment ser­vices to the cit­i­zens of New­ton County.

State cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is only avail­able to agen­cies that have demon­strated proven com­mit­ment to ex­cel­lence and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion has been granted for a three year pe­riod and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­gram is strictly vol­un­tary.

Ben­e­fits of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in­clude: in­creased ac­count­abil­ity among agency per­son­nel and en­hanced ap­pli­ca­tion of poli­cies; in­crease ac­cess to in­de­pen­dent eval­u­a­tion of agency op­er­a­tions; de­creas­ing an agency’s ex­po­sure to li­a­bil­ity, build­ing stronger de­fense against law­suits and po­ten­tially re­duc­ing li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance cost; en­hanc­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of the agency and in­creas­ing the pub­lic trust and con­fi­dence in it; re­quir­ing the agency to com­mit poli­cies and pro­ce­dures to writ­ing; pro­vid­ing a base to cor­rect de­fi­cien­cies be­fore they be­come pub­lic prob­lems; and pro­vid­ing a “norm” upon which agen­cies judge their per­for­mance.

“Sher­iff [Ezell] Brown would like to thank those be­fore him for leav­ing a foun­da­tion on which to build,” said a press re­lease from the NCSO. “He would also like to thank each and ev­ery one at the Sher­iff’s Of­fice for their work, vi­sion and the will­ing­ness to work for one of the many goals set dur­ing his ad­min­is­tra­tion. This cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will work to as­sure the gen­eral pub­lic that the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is pre­pared, trained and ready to han­dle emer­gen­cies and calls for ser­vice. State cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­vides a seal of ap­proval that shows our di­rec­tive to “serve and pro­tect” is guided by a sound, for­mal sys­tem that in­cor­po­rates best busi­ness prac­tices into agency poli­cies and op­er­a­tional plans.

“Most of us learn the hard way that lead­er­ship is not merely hav­ing a vi­sion; any­one can dream. Ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship is know­ing how to lay down the ac­tion steps for your­self and the or­ga­ni­za­tion so that the vi­sion can be re­al­ized. This re­quires us to be prac­ti­cal and to un­der­stand the process along the way,” said Brown.

The State Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will be pre­sented dur­ing a de­part­men­tal cel­e­bra­tion to be held in the near fu­ture.

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