The Wilkesboro Police Department will be assessed Monday for reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA).

A two-person team of assessors from CALEA will examine all aspects of the Wilkesboro Police Department's policies and procedures, management, operations and support services on Monday, said Police Chief Craig Garris.

“Verification by the team that the Wilkesboro Police Department meets the commission’s state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain accreditation, a highly-prized recognition of public safety professional excellence, said Garris.

A CALEA press release said that as part of this, agency personnel and members of the community are invited to offer comments on the Wilkesboro Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards for accreditation at a public information session that starts at 6 p.m. Monday, July 19, at Wilkesboro Town Hall, 203 West Main Street. People can participate in this public information session in person or by Zoom.

People unable to speak at the public information session can provide comments to an assessor by phone by calling 336-667-7277 from 4-6 p.m. Monday.

Each person has 10 minutes to share comments, whether speaking at the public information session in person or by Zoom meeting or speaking by phone.

Written comments can be emailed to www.calea.org or sent by postal mail to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, Va., 20155.

All comments, regardless of how they are submitted, must address the Wilkesboro Police Department’s ability to comply with CALEA standards, stated a commission press release. A copy of the standards is available at the Wilkesboro Police Station, which is at the corner of Main Street and North West Street.

Garris said these standards require:

• comprehensive and uniform written directives that clearly define authority, performance and responsibilities;

• reports and analyses to make fact-based and informed management decisions;

• preparedness to address natural or man-made critical incidents;

• community relationship-building and maintenance;

• independent review by subject matter experts;

• continuous pursuit of excellence through annual reviews and other assessment measures.

The Wilkesboro Police Department was first accredited by CALEA in 2011 and has been reaccredited every four years since then. Garris said this accreditation “has become the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement. 

He said people with any questions about CALEA and its standards may call him at 336-667-7277.

The assessment team for the on-site review Monday consists of Chief Gary Vest of the Powell Police Department, Powell, Ohio; and Capt. Margaret Schmidt-Fuller of the Woodbridge Township Police Department, Woodbridge, N.J. They will report to the full commission upon completing their review of the Wilkesboro Police Department and the full commission will decide if the department is granted accreditation.

Accreditation is for four years. During this time, the law enforcement agency must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with CALEA standards.

More details are available by contacting the commission at 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320 Gainesville, Va., 20155, or by calling 703-352-4225.

To participate in the public information session on Monday by Zoom on a computer, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87331506751. The meeting ID is 873 3150 6751.

To participate in the public information session by phone, dial by your location:

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington, D.C.)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID is 873 3150 6751.

The public forum will be closed after 30 minutes if there are no attendees, stated a press release.

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