A team of specially trained assessors with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., commonly known as CALEA, will begin a four-day, on-site assessment at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department July 16.

CALEA will determine if the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department will maintain its status as an internationally accredited law enforcement agency. Accredited agencies are re-evaluated every three years and must submit annual reports to demonstrate compliance.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department has continually maintained its accreditation since 1999.

There are 484 rigorous standards in the areas of policies and procedures, administration, operations and support services. Obtaining international law enforcement accreditation demonstrates the Sheriff’s Department maintains high professional standards in providing professional law enforcement services.

“CALEA assessors will review records, interview employees and citizens, ride along with deputies, and visit offices to verify compliance with CALEA standards,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said.

The CALEA assessors will be Chief Phillip Kasten, Hartford Police Department, and Director Melissa Manrow, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

“After the assessment team completes its evaluation, it will submit a report concerning its recommendations to CALEA, which will determine whether we maintain our international advanced law enforcement accreditation,” Koon said.

Sheriff Koon invited citizens to offer comments to CALEA assessors regarding how the Sheriff’s Department complies with CALEA’s accreditation standards.

The assessors will hold a public information session July 17 at 6 p.m. in the Lexington County Council chambers on the second floor of the Lexington County Administration Building, 212 South Lake Drive, Lexington.

Citizens can also provide comments to the assessment team that day team by calling 803-785-2412 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Members of the assessment team will answer the phone and speak with citizens concerning the Sheriff’s Department’s compliance with CALEA accreditation standards.

CALEA standards are available for review at the Sheriff’s Department’s headquarters on Gibson Road in Lexington. Call Katherine Luvisi, CALEA Accreditation Manager at 803-785-7598 to make an appointment.

Citizens can also submit written comments to: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155.