Law Enforcement AccreditationIn 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:

  • Enrollment
  • Self-assessment
  • 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.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office participates in the CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation process. As a part of this process, we provide an opportunity for public feedback via the CALEA Portal which can be located here:

The purpose of this public portal is to receive comments regarding our compliance with CALEA standards, engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services, and overall candidacy for accredited status. These comments can be in the form of commendations or concerns. The overall intent of the accreditation process is to provide our agency with information to support continuous improvement, as well as foster our pursuit of professional excellence.

It is important to know that CALEA is not an investigatory body and subsequently the public portal should not be used to submit information for such purposes. Additionally, there will be no response other than acknowledgement to submissions; however, the information will be considered in context to its relevancy to compliance with standards and the tenets of CALEA® Accreditation. If you would like to make a commendation or concerns for the agency or its employees please follow this link:


Standard titles may be viewed on the CALEA website: Law Enforcement - Standards Titles | CALEA® | The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. The level of accreditation the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office participates in include only those applicable standards that are in bold. Questions related to the accreditation process may be directed to the Accreditation Manager.