MOULTRIE -- The Moultrie Police Department is up for accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

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

The Moultrie Police Department is presently certified through the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. The agency has been certified since 2001.

Accreditation benefits the police department by controlling liability insurance costs, strengthening its defense against lawsuits and citizen complaints, creating greater accountability within the agency, increasing support from government officials, improving community advocacy and improving employee 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/witness assistance; traffic; prisoner transportation; holding facility; court security; legal process; 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, Dec. 5, at City Hall. An optional way to express an opinion is by contacting the assessment team at 890-5448 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 6.

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 police department. The contact is Sgt. James Ellis at 890-5498.

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, 10306 Eaton Place, Suite 320, Fairfax, VA 22030-2201.

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