We wished to have a debate for the Sheriff’s race but there did not seem to be any takers. The only option left is to answer in editorial form some of the questions that have been asked of me at various events. Signs and billboards do not provide any valuable information. I will offer several editorial responses to these important issues we have made the center piece of our campaign.
What is Accreditation and why should the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department seek it? This process allow for a mechanism to be in place that maintains a level of review or audit for department operations. Accreditation provides: A proven method of executing daily agency operations under a professional format; The CEO a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation greater accountability within the department and consistency within the various functions of the department; A proactive management and information system creating a forum for internal and external feedback on policies, procedures, and other communal protocols; The department with “state of the art” impartial guidelines for evaluation and change. Most standards are required to be reviewed at least annually to ensure that “best practice” procedures continue to be used and specific areas remain within legal standards.
Improved Community Relations: Accreditation embodies the precepts of community oriented policing. It creates a forum in which the police and the citizens can work together to prevent and control challenges confronting law enforcement and provides a clear direction regarding community expectations. Accreditation has proven to increase community advocacy. Improved Government Relations: Accreditation provides objective evidence of a department’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service delivery which makes local government officials more confident in the department’s ability to operate effectively, efficiently and meet the community needs. Reduced Lawsuits and Insurance Costs: Accreditation status can make it easier for departments to purchase liability insurance and at a reduced cost. Accredited departments are better able to defend themselves against lawsuits and citizen complaints. Many departments have reported a decline in actions filed against them.
Increased Support from Related Agencies: Accreditation provides access to the latest law enforcement practices by interfacing with other accredited departments. This allows for improved coordination with neighboring departments and agencies and other components of the criminal justice system. Professional Excellence: Accredited departments have an outside, objective “stamp of approval” that is earned through the internal and then the external evaluation based on the best law enforcement practices and standards available.
Accreditation establishes pride, satisfaction and confidence in the department and the confidence that accompanies success. (http://iacop.org/benefits-of-accreditation)
This process takes 2 years to complete. The end result is a support system that will benefit the Sheriff’s Department, and the residents of Kosciusko County which it serves.
Travis C. Marsh,
Independent Candidate for Sheriff
North Webster, Ind.