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Appreciation and accreditation for NCSO

Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown shared, not only a plaque signifying his office’s recent accreditation, but also some of the rave reviews bestowed upon the Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) by commissioners with the American Correctional Association (ACA) to the board of commissioners Tuesday.

Brown traveled to New Orleans for the ACA national convention in January where he received the plaque of accreditation. To earn the accreditation, the NCSO needed to get a score of at least 80 percent on 323 non-mandatory standards, and 100 percent on 60 mandatory standards.

“We raised that bar to 100 percent straight across the board,” Brown told the board of commissioners Tuesday.

Brown said NCSO’s score prompted some ACA commissioners to ask him to explain how his office pulled off the rare feat.

“I give credit to those you see beside me today, and those I left behind to continue the wonderful work we do every day,” said Brown while standing next to deputies as he described to the Newton County board of commissioners what he told the ACA commissioners.

He went on to say the commissioners discovered in their auditing that Newton County residents feel safe and Brown’s deputies and staff receive support from their managers.

“I said to the commissioners ‘One of the things I realize in leadership is that leadership is like a band director. You don’t worry about playing instruments, you let those who play the instruments play the instruments, and your job is to make sure the band sounds great,” Brown said. “That’s what we do at the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.”

The ACA commissioners also shared their high regards for the NCSO with several of Newton County’s commissioners when they were in town in November performing the audit.

“Each one of the individuals I talked to about the Sheriff’s department, what they had to say about our sheriff’s department was how clean it was, how good the food [served at the jail] was, how good the staff was and everything,” District 2 Commissioner Lanier Sims said.

Brown told the Newton County commissioners that he wouldn’t settle just with receiving ACA accreditation, but was aiming for what he calls the “triple crown.” Currently the NCSO is one of six agencies in Georgia with accreditation by ACA and the Georgia Chiefs of Police.

However, he is hoping the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), comes to the NCSO mid-way through the year. He then hopes his office can garner a third accreditation.

“The triple crown we’re going to achieve; there are only three other agencies in the state that hold such a crown, and only 55 in the nation,” Brown said.