by Arielle Robinson
At Tuesday’s Cobb Board of Commissioners meeting, officials from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. and the BOC presented the prestigious CALEA Tri-Arc accreditation award to the Cobb County Department of Public Safety.
BOC Chairwoman Lisa Cupid read a proclamation that honors the public safety department for the award.
She also read a proclamation that recognized Cobb’s Public Safety Police Training Academy for receiving its first national accreditation from CALEA on Nov. 19. The public safety department was initially awarded the Tri-Arc award on the same day.
“Cobb County leaders and citizens should take comfort in knowing its police department and communications entity are committed to operating at the highest levels under a set of rigorous standards designed to enhance crime prevention capabilities, formalize essential management procedures, establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices, improve service delivery, and increase community and staff confidence in the agency,” CALEA Commissioner Jeffrey Smythe said.
Out of the more than 600 law enforcement agencies in Georgia, 89 are CALEA-accredited. Out of the 311 communication centers in the state, 14 are accredited. There are only three accredited training centers statewide.
Cobb’s public safety department will be the second agency in the state to be given the Tri-Arc award.
“You’ve entered very sparse categories,” Smythe said. “There’s not a lot of folks that do this. And when you combine those factors with the Tri-Arc award that you’re receiving, there’s only two agencies in the whole state that are able to accomplish this. It’s truly a remarkable accomplishment.”
Agencies that comprise Cobb’s public safety department include the police department, Cobb Emergency 911, fire and emergency services, and animal services.
CALEA was formed in 1979 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum.
CALEA is an internationally-recognized and respected credentialing authority that has developed professional standards for policing and public safety.
Law enforcement agencies must comply with 459 applicable “state-of-the-art” standards in four basic areas—policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services.
The Tri-Arc award is awarded to the governing body or bodies and agencies that have concurrent CALEA accreditation for their law enforcement, public safety communications, and public safety training agencies.
The name of the award, specifically “tri,” reflects the three accreditation programs and the “arc” represents the synergistic power and light created as the result of an unusual achievement, Cupid said.
The Cobb County Department of Communications was the first communications state agency in Georgia to receive CALEA accreditation when it did so in July 2002. Since then, it has successfully completed the accreditation process seven times.
The Cobb County Police Department was initially awarded CALEA accreditation in March 2005 and has since completed the process six times.
The public safety training center receiving its first accreditation last month made the public safety department eligible for the Tri-Arc award.
County commissioners presented the awards to several public safety officials, among them Cobb Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer and Cobb Public Safety Agency Director Randy Crider.
“As we think back over this past year where our 911 director was director of the year, our EMA director was the EMA director of the year, our fire department has been accredited also since 2005, now our police department has received its accreditation again along with its first training center accreditation and E911 is accredited as well—if nothing else, I hope this instills the confidence in our board, our county manager, and our residents that Cobb County is a safe place to work, live, and play,” Crider said.