Bibb County Sheriff David Davis clutched a plaque to his chest for several minutes Tuesday.
The award, signifying that the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is certified by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, was presented to Davis and the sheriff’s office in a Tuesday ceremony.
In order to become certified, deputies created and revised standards -- all while also merging the former Macon Police Department and Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Davis said. The agencies consolidated Jan. 1, 2014.
“Certification for a law enforcement agency is very similar to the process that universities and hospitals use to prove to the public that they have standards and that they follow rules,” Davis said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done.”
Frank Rotondo, executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, said the fact that deputies consolidated and obtained certification in such a short period of time was a feat.
Of the 700 agencies that can seek certification in Georgia, 118 have it. Fewer than 20 are sheriff’s offices, Rotondo said.
The certification program is well recognized, even so much that the sheriff’s office’s insurance carrier, Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency, offers up to a 20 percent drop in liability insurance costs for certified departments, Rotondo said.
He said the certification process is one that’s ongoing.
Not only do agencies have to establish policies, but they have to make sure the policies are followed. Compliance reports must be completed, and deputies must undergo a recertification in three years, Rotondo said.
“It’s not easy,” he said.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter @awomackmacon.