Conyers Police Department earns international accreditation

CONYERS -- The Conyers Police Department has joined the ranks of elite law enforcement agencies in the state that have achieved accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. Statewide, there are 45 law enforcement agencies and internationally more than 1,000 that are accredited by CALEA.

CALEA was formed to develop a set of law enforcement standards and to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies demonstrate that they meet professionally-recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.

Conyers Police completed an intense examination and evaluation of the operations of the department that consisted of 480 standards in just over one year's time. The average CALEA accreditation process is completed in three years. Conyers Police concentrated on improving property and evidence procedures, courtroom procedures, forming a strategic plan and workforce analysis.

"When our officers, Mayor (Randy) Mills and the City Council committed to applying for CALEA accreditation in June 2011, it was understood that this was a group effort. Every officer and city employee has contributed in some way to achieving CALEA accreditation," said Chief Gene Wilson. "It was gratifying to be rewarded and recognized for what we've worked so hard for -- international accreditation."

Mills, City Manager Tony Lucas, Wilson and Accreditation Manager Lt. Tanya Perry were present at the commission hearing last weekend in Jacksonville, Fla., The award was presented Saturday, Nov. 17 by CALEA Chairman Louis Dekmar, chief of the LaGrange Police Department, and CALEA Executive Director Sylvester Daughtry Jr.

Conyers Police hosted CALEA assessors in August for an on-site assessment that included a public information session in which members of the public could provide comments and ask questions about the process. CALEA assessors then completed their review and reported back to the full commission that determines which agencies have met all accreditation requirements.

The Conyers Police Department will remain accredited until it must reapply and meet the required standards in November 2015.

"I think it's most notable that of the 1,028 law enforcement agencies in the state of Georgia, we are one of only 45 that have met law enforcement accreditation standards through CALEA," said Wilson. "This accreditation really validates that what we're doing as a police department is up to the highest standard possible. How we continue to meet those standards is a challenge we're confident and excited to take on."