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Police Department undergoes accreditation process

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Virginia-based law enforcement accreditation agency began its assessment of the Gwinnett County Police Department this weekend.

A team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies arrived in Gwinnett on Saturday to examine the department's policy and procedures, management, operations and support services as part of a routine procedure for law enforcement agencies.

"They will come in and make sure we're up to standards," Gwinnett County Police Department spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman said. "They will do a tour and fill out a form on the department."

According to the CALEA Web site, the agency's purpose is to improve the delivery of public safety services and recognize excellence.

Spellman said CALEA assessors visit every three years to reassess the department's operations and to make sure it's up to the agency's standards.

The agency's team will tour the department's Eastside Precinct, training center and headquarters. Spellman said assessors began their rounds Saturday and will finish Wednesday.

The public will have a chance to enter comments beginning at 7 p.m. Monday during a community information session in conference room C of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center located at 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

Those who can not attend the session in person can submit comments from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday by calling 770-513-5885 or 770-513-5886.

According to a Police Department press release, telephone and in-person comments will be limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with CALEA standards. A copy of the standards is available at Police Department headquarters located at 770 Hi Hope Drive in Lawrenceville of by calling 770-513-5241.

Spellman said the department has maintained accreditation since 1993 and said CALEA will be looking for the Police Department to meet a minimum of 80 percent of the agency's standards to meet accreditation.

"Other that just nuts and bolts, they're looking to make sure everything is going smoothly," Spellman said.

In order to prepare for the few days of scrutiny, Spellman said the Gwinnett Police Departments will mainly continue work as usual.

"There's nothing really different for the most part," Spellman said. "We'll make sure we have the proper paperwork in line and that we have current information for the department at hand."

SideBar: If you go

What: CALEA community information session

When: 7 p.m. Monday

Where: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center,

75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.