Sheriff Jim Hammond of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is seeking a renewed CALEA accreditation. Part of the process requires the sheriff’s office to create an opportunity for public feedback. (Photo: Staff)

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is asking for public comment as part of the process to renew its law enforcement accreditation.

“It’s very important,” Miriam Monzon, the accreditation manager, said about asking for responses. “We want to know how we’re doing. This gives [the public] the opportunity to make comments. We need the feedback.”

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is an international law enforcement program that aims to strengthen the delivery of public safety services.

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In order to get CALEA accreditation, law enforcement agencies must undergo a series of assessments by the CALEA commission. The accreditation must be renewed every three years.

Part of the process requires the law enforcement agency to provide a chance for the public to offer comments to the law enforcement agency about its efficiency.

The sheriff’s office will be offering this opportunity while CALEA representatives are in town.

There are three ways residents can offer comments.

Residents are invited to attend an information session Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. at the West Annex to provide their opinions. If a resident is unable to attend this session, they are encouraged to call 423-209-8924 on Nov. 15 between 1 and 3 p.m., or mail a letter to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155.

Telephone comments and comments made at the information session are limited to 10 minutes per person and must address the office’s ability to comply with CALEA standards. A copy of the standards is available at the West Annex.

When the sheriff’s office first received accreditation from CALEA in 2013, two people attended the information session, four residents called in and three residents mailed in letters.

For more information about CALEA, clickhere. For more information about the accreditation process locally, call Monzon at 423-209-8953.

Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She is also currently attending UTC, where she is the news editor for the school newspaper, The University Echo.

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