The Mauldin Police Department received state accreditation from the South Carolina Police Accreditation Coalition (SCPAC) in September, with representatives from Mauldin Police attending a certification meeting in Columbia on September 27th for the accreditation award. This is the third award of state accreditation with SCPAC that the Mauldin Police Department has earned. The process was first initiated in 2011 after the department became internationally accredited with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
This accreditation process ensures that the Mauldin Police Department maintains up-to-date policies and procedures to remain a professional policing agency. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation (SCLEA) program is an initiative of the South Carolina Police Chiefs’ Association and the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. The program is a voluntary program for professional improvement, fashioned in ways that best meet local needs while simultaneously expressing commitment to professional law enforcement practices.
State accreditation is similar to CALEA accreditation, but additional standards must be met that are specific to the state of South Carolina. To obtain state accreditation, an agency must prove compliance with standards set forth by the SCLEA Council. State-only accreditation involves 289 standards; dually-accredited agencies must prove they are accredited with CALEA and show compliance with twelve state standards.
These state standards include: that the agency must require a written Public Contact Warning for each traffic stop conducted by the agency unless otherwise documented; the agency must have a written directive governing the use of agency material through electronic communication; the agency may not release firearms to individuals prohibited from owning firearms; the agency must comply with the South Carolina Preservation of Evidence Act (SC Code of Laws 17-28-320); the agency must conduct a citizen survey at least once every three years regarding the agency’s performance; each sworn officer must receive annual training on criminal domestic violence; the agency must have a written plan for handling a bomb threat or emergency; and more.
There are currently eleven state accredited agencies and fifteen agencies in South Carolina that are dually accredited with both SCLEA and CALEA. Additionally, six agencies are currently in self-assessment for state accreditation and five others are in self-assessment for dual accreditation.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. originated in 1999 as a non-profit corporation. The corporation’s accreditation program was developed through the combined efforts of the South Carolina Chiefs of Police Association (SCPCA), the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association (SCSA) and the South Carolina Police Accreditation Coalition (SCPAC).