The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was the first credentialing program established by CALEA after its founding. It was originally developed to address what was seen as a need to enhance law enforcement as a profession and to improve law enforcement. That mission continues today. The program is open to all types of law enforcement agencies, on an international basis. It provides a process to systematically conduct an internal review and assessment of the agencies’ policies and procedures, and make adjustments wherever necessary to meet a body of internationally accepted standards.

Since the first CALEA Accreditation Award was granted in 1984, the program has become the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement. The standards upon which the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is based reflect the current thinking and experience of law enforcement practitioners and researchers. Major law enforcement associations, leading educational and training institutions, governmental agencies, as well as law enforcement executives internationally, acknowledge CALEA’s Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies© and its Accreditation Program as benchmarks for today’s law enforcement agency. SLED - CALEA Accreditation Letter, April 2, 2016
  • CALEA Accreditation requires an agency to develop a comprehensive, well thought out, uniform set of written directives. This is one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.
  • CALEA Accreditation standards provide the necessary reports and analyses a CEO needs to make fact-based, informed management decisions.
  • CALEA Accreditation requires a preparedness program be put in place – so an agency is ready to address natural or man-made unusual occurrences.
  • CALEA Accreditation is a means for developing or improving upon an agency’s relationship with the community.
  • CALEA Accreditation strengthens an agency’s accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.
  • Being CALEA Accredited can limit an agency’s liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that internationally recognized standards for law enforcement have been met, as verified by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.
  • CALEA Accreditation facilitates an agency’s pursuit of professional excellence.

The S. C. Law Enforcement Division was initially accredited by CALEA on March 26, 1994. SLED was Reaccredited in 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008. In 2005 and 2008, SLED was recognized as a CALEA Flagship Agency acknowledging the achievement and expertise of a successful CALEA Accredited Agency. In 2010, the administration at that time discontinued the accreditation process.

On May 29, 2012, SLED applied for and received eligibility to begin the CALEA self-assessment phase. A short ten months later, in March 2013, in Charleston, SC the CALEA Commission unanimously voted to grant accredited status to the agency. SLED has been awarded CALEA Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation effective March 23, 2016 for the second time. This award will remain in effect for four years as SLED continues its commitment to professional excellence through accreditation.