MOULTRIE -- The Moultrie Police Department is up for its fourth accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA. Local residents are invited to comment on the department's ability to comply with CALEA's standards.

The MPD was first accredited by CALEA in 1991. It was the 10th Georgia agency and the 198th national agency to do so.

Accreditation by CALEA means the department is compared to other law enforcement agencies in the country. The goal of CALEA is to make law enforcement more professional.

Reaccreditation benefits the police department by controlling liability insurance costs, strengthening its defense against lawsuits and citizen complains, creating greater accountability within the agency, increasing support from government officials, improving community advocacy and improving morale. This accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in policy and procedures, administration operations and support services.

Areas include compensation; grievance and disciplinary procedures; recruitment, selection, training and career development; promotion; patrol; criminal investigation; vice, drugs and organized crime; juvenile operations; crime prevention and community relations; criminal intelligence; internal affairs; inspection selections; victim and witness assistance; traffic; prisoner transport; court security; communications; records; and collection of evidence.

As part of an on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to comment at a public information session at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9, at city hall. An optional way to express an opinion is by contacting the assessment team at 890-5448 between 1 and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10. Comments are limited to 10 minutes and must address the police department's ability to comply with professional standards. Copies of the standards are available for review at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Public Library and the Moultrie Police Department. The contact is Capt. Tommy Rabon at 890-5447.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the department's ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, Va. 22030-2215.

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