Frequently Asked Questions:
What is accreditation?
An accreditation program has long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards. Schools, universities, and hospitals are some of the most well known organizations that are required to maintain accreditation. Law enforcement agencies in Tennessee can now attain accredited status through the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.
What are the benefits of accreditation?
The benefits of accreditation are many and will vary from agency to agency. The benefits to the community are that accreditation increases the law enforcement agency's ability to prevent and control crime through more effective and efficient delivery of law enforcement services to the community it serves. Accreditation enhances community understanding of the law enforcement agency and its role in the community as well as its goals and objectives. Citizen confidence in the policies and practices of the agency is increased. Accreditation, in conjunction with the philosophy of community policing, commits an agency to a broad range of programs (such as crime prevention) that directly benefit the public.
I am a Chief or a Sheriff, why should my department become accredited?
Accreditation increases the cooperation and coordination with other law enforcement agencies and other branches of the criminal justice system. The accreditation process requires an in-depth review of every aspect of your agency's organization, management, operations and administration including:
- Establishment of agency goals and objectives with provisions for periodic updating;
- Re-evaluation of whether agency resources are being used in accord with agency goals, objectives and mission;
- Re-evaluation of agency policies and procedures, especially as documented in the agency's written directive system;
- Correction of internal deficiencies and inefficiencies before they become public problems;
- The opportunity to re-organize without the appearance of personal attacks.
- The standards provide norms against which agency performance can be measured and monitored over time.
How do I apply to be in the accreditation program? Is there an application fee?
Click here to download an application.
There is a $300 fee to apply, $200 of which is applied towards the first year's accreditation fee.
How many standards are there?
There are 160 standards in the TLEA 2nd edition Standards Manual. Agencies have a 3 year cycle within which to build files and proofs of these standards.