In November of 2019, Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich and Accreditation Manager Lieutenant Kathy Baillargeon traveled to Covington, Kentucky where on behalf of the Thomasville Police Department, they received the department’s 10th Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) re-accreditation award. The Thomasville Police Department was awarded re-accreditation at the Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation level.
Law enforcement agencies earning CALEA Accreditation demonstrate best practices in policies and procedures, strengthening the agency’s relationship with its community and providing accountability measures to ensure the community receives the best law enforcement services possible. “Achieving accreditation through CALEA is not mandatory, however it enhances an agency’s opportunities to go beyond standard implementation of best practices,” said Lieutenant Kathy Baillargeon. “It is important to the Thomasville Police Department to earn CALEA Accreditation each year, to further validate our agency’s ongoing commitment to our community.”
“Former Police Chief John Perry saw the importance in CALEA certification, and began the accreditation process in 1987,” said Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich. “The Thomasville Police Department has been nationally accredited since.” Thomasville was the fifth in the state of Georgia and 52nd in the United States to be nationally accredited. “It is quite an honor and privilege for our department to maintain this accreditation year after year.”
It is not an easy process for law enforcement agencies to earn CALEA Accreditation. “The process occurs over a four year period and includes file reviews and detailed assessments, including a thorough inspection of the department,” said Baillargeon. “Interviews are conducted from leadership to patrol officers and civilian staff. The assessors’ tour every area of the agency to verify what they have read on paper is what’s happening daily in our work. They also attend public hearings and meet with citizens.”
While all aspects of the process are equally important, Chief Troy Rich stated that legitimacy doesn’t come from a badge, it comes from the community. “If the community believes you are fair and just, CALEA will assist your law enforcement agency with police legitimacy.”
The CALEA Accreditation symbol is recognized nationally as a symbol of excellence within an organization and a community. “I want to personally congratulate our staff on receiving our 10th CALEA reaccreditation award. The Thomasville Police Department is an elite law enforcement agency and a model for other law enforcement agencies to follow,” said Chief Rich. “It is clear that the Thomasville Police Department made a very positive impact and lasting impression on the CALEA assessors, and we will work to continue to exceed community expectations.”