The Polk County Sheriff’s Office recently received their fifth consecutive certificate of state accreditation on February 3rd, 2016 during the Polk County Board of Commissioners weekly meeting. Sheriff Mark Garton was presented with the award of reaccreditation by Ed Boyd of the Oregon Accreditation Alliance. The Polk County Sheriff’s office was the first Sheriff’s office to achieve accredited status in the state through the Oregon Accreditation Alliance.
Accreditation is all about professional standards. To be accredited, an agency must meet 102 professional standards comprised of over 400 separate requirements contained within those standards. In Oregon, only ¼ of all Law Enforcement agencies currently hold state accreditation. More specifically, there are only 9 Sheriff’s Office’s and 41 municipal agencies in the state that hold this accreditation.
The accreditation process is a lengthy process and occurs every three years. The process involves having the Oregon Accreditation Alliance review and inspect everything associated with their operations and render an opinion as to whether they meet a set of best practices and standards for that profession that by itself shows commitment, transparency and dedication to excellence.
It is through the commitment and direction of the Sheriff that the office undertakes the rigorous accreditation process and although it is truly an agency wide effort to achieve accreditation, specific recognition needs to be given to the accreditation managers. “I would like to thank Sgt. Kevin Haynes for his outstanding work in preparing our office for reaccreditation. The process is far from easy and it takes a very dedicated employee to make this happen, especially during the past few years with our reduced staff,” Sheriff Garton said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office joined the Oregon Accreditation Alliance in July 2001 and received their first award of accredited status in 2003. Once an agency receives accredited status, they are re-evaluated and assessed again every three years. This is the 5th consecutive award of accreditation given to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
“By being accredited and being able to hold this office to a higher standard is something that I am proud to be a part of. This office will work every day to show our dedication to the people of this county by providing exceptional law enforcement services,” Sheriff Garton said.