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Police Earn Accreditation Recommendation



A team of assessors for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) has told town officials they will recommend "full accrediation"  for the Clayton Police Department.

The team--which has been in town for the last few days studying the Department's policies, procedures and performance--will make the recommendation to the CALEA Board at its annual meeting in November.

"We're very happy to say the least," said Police Chief Glen Allen. "It speaks highly of the men and women of the Department. We'll be the only law enforcement agency in Johnston County to earn International Accreditation and one of a small, but elite, minority nationwide."

Accreditation is a very rigorous process related to establishment of the highest standards for policies and procedures in the law enforcement community. To achieve accreditation, the Department had to meet high standards in hundreds of different areas. The assessment team reviewed written materials, conducted interviews and visited offices and other places where compliance with high standards can be witnessed or observed.

Captain R.W. Bridges, who has been instrumental over the last two years in getting ready for the accrediation process, said the honor not only means a boost in the Department's already stellar reputation, but it also has a very pratical meaning--that the town of Clayton "has top notch law enforcement."

"It increases community and staff confidence in the Department, which is certainly significant," Captain Bridges said.

Mayor Jody McLeod summed his feelings up in one word--"awesome."

"Every person in Clayton should be proud of our Police Department today," the Mayor said. "The strides they've made in the last few years have been truly impressive."

Building a top-notch police force has been a high priority of town officials for the last several years. New capabilities and programs have been added, and officers have been encouraged to get advanced training. As a result, local index crime (property & violent) is on the decline even though the population is going up.

Calling accreditation "a highly-prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence," Chief Allen said getting to that level has been a goal since he joined the department a few years ago.

"Our Department has chosen to meet the accreditation standards, and in doing so, the Clayton Police Department has developed modern and up-to-date policies and procedures, and has established itself as a professional law enforcement organization," the Cheif said. "By being professionally accredited by CALEA, the likelihood of civil liability is greatly reduced, personnel have specific written guidelines to follow, and we can deliver the level of law enforcement services the citizens of the Town of Clayton expect and deserve."

Work is slated to begin next year on a new Law Enforcement Center downtown that will give police more room and better facilities.

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