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  • Accreditation of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

     

    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office meets or exceeds the requirements of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) View exit disclaimer policy page for links to third-party websites. , the American Correctional Association (ACA) View exit disclaimer policy page for links to third-party websites., the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC), the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD), and the Public Communications Accreditation Program (PSCAP).

    The accreditation concept uses a voluntary, self-motivated approach by which organizations seek to achieve, objectively verify, and maintain high quality operations through periodic evaluations conducted by an independent, non-governmental body that has established standards for its "clientele."

    To earn and maintain accreditation, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office voluntarily complies with or exceeds nationally recognized standards of operation. Following application for accreditation, a law enforcement agency must undergo self-assessment, on-site assessment, commission review, and must maintain compliance.

    Since the accreditation process is an accomplishment that cannot be achieved without a total office-wide commitment, every employee of the Sheriff's Office contributes in some way to achieving and maintaining accreditation standards. The public's input toward accreditation standards and compliance is welcome.

    There are many benefits to undergoing the accreditation process -- mainly, it provides an independent evaluation of the agency. A re-accreditation process takes place regularly to ensure that the agency maintains compliance with all standards.

    Anti-profiling Standard Developed by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

    One CALEA standard is a provision regarding bias-based profiling. Bias-based profiling is the selection of individuals based solely on a common trait of a group. This includes but is not limited to race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age and cultural group.

    CALEA documents state that law enforcement agencies should not condone the use of any bias-based profiling as it may violate the constitutional rights of the citizens we serve, undermine legitimate law enforcement efforts and lead to civil rights violations. Additionally, bias-based profiling alienates citizens, fosters distrust of law enforcement by the community and invites media scrutiny, legislative action, and judicial intervention.

    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is proud to have developed the standard against bias-based profiling now part of the international CALEA accreditation requirements.

    Through this provision, a law enforcement agency:

    • must have a written directive prohibiting bias-based profiling in traffic contacts, field contacts and in asset seizure and forfeiture efforts
    • must train agency enforcement personnel in bias-based profiling issues including legal aspects
    • must enact corrective measures if bias based profiling occurs
    • must undergo an annual administrative review of agency practices including citizen concerns

    Crime Lab Accreditation

    In 2013, the crime lab achieved full accreditation through the Crime Laboratory International Accreditation Program (LAB) of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD). Accreditation is a voluntary program in which any crime laboratory may participate to demonstrate that its management, operations, personnel, procedures and instruments, physical plant and security, and personnel safety procedures meet certain standards. Accreditation can best be described as a continuous process of quality assurance and improvement. The process of self-evaluation which leads to accreditation is in itself a valuable management tool and has become part of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s (JCSO) Crime Lab’s quality management theory, which includes proficiency testing, continuing education, customer liaison, and other programs to help the laboratory provide more effective overall service. JCSO is one of six crime labs in the state of Colorado, and currently the only one specializing in the crime scene discipline, receiving accreditation through ASCLD/LAB. 

    Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program

    In 2014, the Communications Unit received full accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program provides the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office communications center with a process to systemically review and internally assess its operations and procedures. Many aspects of the communications center were assessed including the preparedness program, accountability program as well as the Quality Assurance Program; a formal check and balance system to ensure sheriff’s office dispatching standards are met. With receipt of this accreditation, the communications center has been validated as a leader in the law enforcement dispatching community.

    Jail Health Care Accreditation

    The Sheriff's Office jail medical unit is accredited by NCCHC, the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare.