In keeping with the keystone principles of "Professionalism, Responsibility, Accountability, and Integrity" Sheriff Ed McMahon has directed the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office to submit to a voluntary assessment to determine if we meet the standards to be awarded accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The Commission was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive associations:
- International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
- National Sheriffs' Association (NSA)
- Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
There are five phases or steps in the accreditation process:
- On-site assessment
- Commission Review and Decision
- Maintaining Compliance and Reaccreditation
In July, 2015 the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office was awarded accredited status by CALEA. To be awarded accredited status, the Commission requires agencies to comply with industry-best-practice standards in the areas of Policy and Procedure, Administration, Operations, and Support Services.
Having been awarded accreditation, the agency must now maintain compliance with applicable standards, keep its proofs of compliance up-to-date, and live by the letter and spirit of those standards. To retain its accredited status, the agency is required to submit to CALEA their annual report. Reaccreditation occurs at the end of the three years, following another successful on-site assessment and hearing before the Commission.