SFPD begins law enforcement accreditation process, only 12 agencies in Ala. currently have seal

Baldwin County

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — The City of Spanish Fort has approved funding for the police department to undergo the law enforcement accreditation process.

“Accreditation is really the gold standard for the industry,” he said. Only 12 agencies out of Alabama’s 417 are currently accredited. Mobile is the only accredited department south of Montgomery.

The process works like this. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) conducts a comprehensive evaluation of a department’s policies, practices, and actions to ensure everything is done to the highest standard.

“Really pushes transparency, community involvement. Looks at everything, from use of force policy, to handling of evidence, what do you do when a citizen complaint comes in,” said Barber. Undergoing this process is something Barber has been passionate about since assuming his role as chief last year. He was at the forefront of the accreditation process with the Mobile Police Department when he worked there.

Getting accredited can take up to three years, according to Barber. After a department receives the seal, it still has to undergo reevaluation every four years.

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