The Dawson County Sheriff's Office recently received word that the department's state certification has been renewed.
Although a voluntary program through the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Sheriff Billy Carlisle said there are many benefits to being a certified law enforcement agency.
"What's important to me is that it tells us that we're doing our job according to the established best practices of the Georgia Police Chiefs' Association. It gives us proven guidelines for us to live by," he said.
Assessors with the police chiefs' association spent two days in early May reviewing protocol and analyzing data the sheriff's office compiled for the certification process.
The assessment includes 129 standards that each agency has to prove, according to Accreditation Manager Lt. Bob Bolz.
Proofs range from a photo or news story, to incident reports or arrest summaries that show and demonstrate how officers are adhering to those given standards.
"They came in the Tuesday after Memorial Day and were here for two days," Bolz said. "We only had four or five of the more than 300 standards that we had to give them a little extra proof, and we got those while they were here."
New standards are adapted annually to fall in line with changing laws or current events happening in law enforcement, such as the use of Tasers.
The sheriff's office was first endorsed as a Georgia State Certified Law Enforcement Operation in 2008.
According to the association's Web site, "Certification acknowledges the implementation of policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective."