The Covington Police Department has earned its eighth accreditation award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. The award was presented at the recent conference held in Jacksonville, Fla. The program has 480 standards and the department is required to meet all applicable standards. The department was the first agency in Georgia to be accredited in 1985 and the 10th in the nation. Of the original 10 agencies, only four have remained accredited.
During the exit interview, the assessors said they were very impressed with the entire department and their obvious commitment to the accreditation process. CPD Police Chief Stacey Cotton told the assessors that accreditation is all most of the employees have ever known during their police careers.
The city of Covington is honored to have four accredited departments: Covington Police, Covington Fire, Covington-Newton 911 and Covington Public Works. There are currently only six cities in the nation that have all four accreditations.
At the Jacksonville CALEA conference, Cotton was presented with The Egon Bittner Award. Of the more than 100 law enforcement agencies at the conference, only two agency CEO's received this prestigious award. The Egon Bittner Award is presented to Chief Executive Officers who have commanded a CALEA accredited agency for 15 or more continuous years.
It was created to recognize these leaders for their significant contributions to the public safety profession and to CALEA. Cotton was appointed chief of police in 1997.
Professor Egon Bittner greatly contributed to CALEA's early development in 1979-1980 and was a CALEA Commissioner from 1981, during the critical developmental stage of the organization, through 1988. He was a professor of sociology at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, with a national standing on law enforcement issues. He retired from Brandeis in 1991 and then moved with his wife Jean, to the California Bay Area. He died there in 2011.
The accreditation program is now international with agencies from Canada, Mexico and Barbados being accredited.