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.
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 was awarded CALEA Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation on March 21, 2020 for the third time. In addition, SLED was selected by the Commissioners of CALEA to receive the Accreditation with Excellence Award. This title will attach to our CALEA Accreditation status and remain in effect for four years as SLED continues its commitment to professional excellence through accreditation.
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.
The S. C. Law Enforcement Division Forensic Services Laboratory is currently accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board ANAB and meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017. The laboratory’s current disciplines of accreditation include Biology (DNA), Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (Crime Scene), Document Examination (Questioned Documents), Firearms and Toolmarks, Fire Debris and Explosives (Trace), Friction Ride (Latent Prints), Impressions (Footwear/Tire tread, Crime Scene), Materials (Trace), Scene Investigation (Crime Scene), Seized Drugs (Drug Analysis), Toxicology and Digital & Video/Imaging Technology and Analysis (Computer Crimes).
ANAB is the longest established provider of accreditation based on ISO standards for forensic agencies in the United States. ANAB is a non-governmental organization that provides accreditation services to public- and private-sector organizations. The ANAB Forensic Testing Program is a program of accreditation in which any crime laboratory providing covered services may participate to demonstrate that its technical operations and overall management system meet ISO/IEC 17025:2017 requirements and ANAB Forensic Testing Program requirements.
Accreditation provides a means for the formal recognition, by an independent third party, that the laboratory is in full compliance with the appropriate standards. Through the application of international standards and independent review by ANAB, customers can have confidence in the laboratory’s work product. Each accreditation cycle includes the initial on-site assessment for accreditation followed by regular surveillance activities to assess continued compliance with accreditation requirements.
The S. C. Law Enforcement Division Forensic Services Laboratory was initially accredited by ASCLD/LAB (American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board) on September 26, 1994 under the Legacy program. Legacy program reaccreditation was granted in 1999, 2004, and 2009. As ASCLD/LAB transitioned to the ISO/IEC 17025 based program, the laboratory underwent assessment and obtained ASCLD/LAB-International Accreditation on September 19, 2014. In 2016, ANAB announced the merger of its forensics operations with those of ASCLD/LAB.