COVINGTON -- The Covington Police Department has earned its eighth accreditation award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
The department was the first agency in Georgia to be accredited in 1985 and the 10th in the nation. Of the original 10 agencies, only four have remained accredited.
The accreditation program has since become international with agencies from Canada, Mexico and Barbados being accredited.
The program has 480 standards and the department is required to meet all applicable standards.
"During the exit interview, the assessors said they were very impressed with the entire department and their obvious commitment to the accreditation process," said Public Information Officer Capt. Ken Malcom. "Chief Cotton told the assessors that accreditation is all most of the employees at CPD have ever known during their police careers. The City of Covington is honored to have four accredited departments: Covington Police, Covington Fire, Covington-Newton 911 and Covington Public Works."
There are currently only six cities in the nation that have all four accreditations.
Also, during the recently Jacksonville CALEA conference where the eighth award was presented, CPD Chief Stacey Cotton, who was appointed chief in 1997, received the Egon Bittner Award which is presented to chief executive officers who have commanded a CALEA accredited agency for 15 or more continuous years.
"It was created to recognize these leaders for their significant contributions to the public safety profession and to CALEA," Malcom said, adding that of the more than 100 law enforcement agencies at the conference, only two agency CEOs received this prestigious award.
Also, during the conference, the Conyers Police Department was awarded international accreditation. Statewide, there are 45 law enforcement agencies and internationally more than 1,000 that are accredited by CALEA.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office achieved state accreditation in July of this year.