The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office was awarded re-accreditation status on Saturday, March 26, 2011, at the spring CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) Conference in Bethesda, Maryland. Sheriff Richard Meyers, Chief Deputy Kurt Ditzler, Deputy Chief Don Gasparini, and Senior Deputy Mike Schneider attended the conference, committee review hearing, and awards presentation ceremony. During the conference, the Sheriff’s Office was one of 110 agencies receiving their award after undergoing our on-site review with CALEA assessors in December, 2010.
In addition, special recognition as a FLAGSHIP Agency was awarded to our Agency. Flagship status is designated to acknowledge CALEA accredited public safety agencies that have demonstrated success in the accreditation process. The program also serves to provide other agencies seeking accreditation with examples of “best practices” on how to address compliance, policy development, file maintenance, and other issues relating to the accreditation process. CALEA staff select Flagship agencies based primarily on their past awards, current assessment, and overall professional standing in the public safety community. As a Flagship agency, the Sheriff’s Office was afforded the opportunity to exhibit in the vendor area to allow conference attendees to network with staff from seasoned accredited agencies, serving as a resource to newly accredited agencies and others seeking information about the process.
While staffing the exhibit, representatives from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) requested and were provided with a digital format of our policy and procedures manual so they could make these available on their website, IACPNet, for their model policies and procedures portion of the site. This site serves as a resource to other law enforcement agencies to assist in establishing their own policies and procedures to meet the CALEA standards.
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office received original accreditation in March, 1994, and has maintained this status through 6 subsequent awards. The Sheriff’s Office was also presented with a “Meritorious Award” for being a CALEA Accredited Agency for a period of 15 years. Internationally, less than 1000 public safety agencies possess accreditation status—the Sheriff’s Office is the 295th agency to attain this achievement.