South Carolina’s top law enforcement agency was honored this week by a national accrediting body for its “commitment to professionalism” and “institutionalized management model.” According to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), the Palmetto State’s lead investigative agency – the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – was presented with its “accreditation with excellence” award this year.
SLED was also notified that it had been awarded law enforcement accreditation for the third time in its history, effective March 21, 2020.
“I believe it is critical we strive for, meet and are held to the highest standards,” SLED chief Mark Keel said in a statement. “CALEA accreditation serves as the international gold standard for public safety agencies. Being recognized with the Excellence Award demonstrates the passion and dedication every SLED agent and employee has for doing things the right way.”
CALEA was established in 1979 “as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations,” according to its website.
Several other South Carolina law enforcement agencies received accreditation, but SLED was the only one to receive the “with excellence” designation.
According to CALEA executive director Craig Hartley, SLED “sets the benchmark for public safety professionalism.”
Other Palmetto State agencies to receive accreditation included the Anderson county sheriff’s office, the Greenwood police department, the North Charleston police department, the Rock Hill police department and the Spartanburg county sheriff’s office.
This news outlet has often disagreed with SLED on matters of public policy – including the agency’s ongoing opposition to the decriminalization of medical marijuana – however we have come to respect the organization for the way it handles the vast majority of its responsibilities.
In fact, in a state rife with institutional malfeasance, we are grateful for the work SLED is doing on a host of fronts – and have repeatedly argued that the agency should receive additional resources (especially when it comes to unearthing public corruption).
We are not alone in that view. One of SLED’s top legislative opponents on the issue of medical marijuana – state senator Tom Davis of Beaufort county, S.C. – praised the agency for its latest honor.
“Chief Keel and I have policy disagreements, to be sure, but his agency deserves credit for earning this award – and for the way it conducts its investigatory functions,” Davis told us.
We concur …
While we do not see eye-to-eye with Keel on the matter of medical cannabis, we applaud his agency for its efforts to make the Palmetto State a safer place to live – and for its efforts to hold local and state leaders who break the law accountable for their actions.
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