DMH Public Safety ShieldColumbia, SC – A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) will conduct an on-site assessment of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s (SCDMH) Division of Public Safety, April 25 through April 27.

The accreditation program requires law enforcement agencies to comply with professional standards in the following areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and the public are invited to offer comments at a public information session Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 6:00 pm. The session will be conducted in the SCDMH Division of Public Safety Conference Room, 7901 Farrow Road, Building 17, Columbia, 29203.

Agency employees and the public are also invited to offer comments to the Assessment Team by calling the assessment team at 1 (800) 774-2362 on Thursday, April 26, 2018, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Telephone comments and appearances at the public session are limited to 10 minutes each and must address the Agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards, copies of which are available at the Division of Public Safety, 7901 Farrow Road, Building 17, Columbia, 29203.

Those wishing to offer written comments about the Division’s ability to comply with standards for accreditation may send them to: The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia, 20155 or via email to: calea@calea.org.

Verification by the Assessment Team that SCDMH Public Safety meets CALEA standards as part of a voluntary process to gain accreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement excellence. In order to maintain accredited status, law enforcement agencies must undergo re-accreditation every four years to ensure continued compliance with CALEA standards.

SCDMH Public Safety Chief Elizabeth Hall noted that the CALEA assessment “is a move towards excellence. CALEA requirements provide standards that strengthen our agency’s practices, polices, and procedures. They enhance our law enforcement capabilities.” SCDMH Public Safety must comply with 159 standards.

Law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies in other states will review written materials, interview individuals, and visit SCDMH facilities where compliance can be witnessed. Once the assessors complete a review of the Agency, they will report to the full Commission, which will then decide if SCDMH Public Safety will be granted accreditation.

The SCDMH Division of Public Safety is the law enforcement entity for the Agency and has statewide jurisdiction. The Division employs sworn officers and has specific responsibilities for coordinating all law enforcement, fire and life safety, and security programs within the Department, and performs as the Agency’s first responders, as necessary. The Division enforces state laws and protects SCDMH property, patients, employees, and visitors.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 19, 2018
Contact: Tracy LaPointe
(803) 898-8582
Tracy.lapointe@scdmh.org

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