by Fred M. Neiman
Clark County Sheriff's Office
The Clark County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) has been CALEA Law Enforcement Accredited since November 1986; becoming the first CALEA accredited sheriff's office on the western seaboard. Since then Clark County has been joined by many other west coast sheriff and police departments in achieving accreditation. In 2011 the CCSO received its eighth consecutive CALEA award. Sheriff Garry E. Lucas recently noted that the vast majority of CCSO employees have been hired since initial CALEA accreditation. “They have never known a time when our agency wasn't accredited,” he said. “To them, it's just the way we do business.”
Listening to the speakers at the CALEA Conference discuss examples which continue to fuel the need for CALEA, I realized the impact of the Sheriff’s comment. Our staff has never known a time when policy was driven by an administrator's arbitrary “rule of the week” or worked in an agency where the level of service delivered was largely dependent on a person's socio-economic standing, or where agency promotions and specialty assignments were doled out on the basis of favoritism rather than merit, or withdrawn if one fell from favor.
Standardization in hiring, training, policy, and procedures, as promoted under CALEA Standards, has made the CCSO and the many other CALEA accredited agencies a better trained and more professional organization. In fact, for over 25 years Clark County’s citizens have known the CCSO as an accredited agency, and their expectations of service delivery will not allow anything less.