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Morris County Sheriff's Office Attains CALEA Reaccreditation Award

Morris County

By: Najla Alexander 

Morris County officials announced that the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) has awarded the Morris County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Bureau of Law Enforcement its eighth reaccreditation recognition.

In a ceremony held in Montgomery, Alabama, officials say, Sheriff James M. Gannon and the MCSO Accreditation Team were reviewed, honored, and presented with the certification.AdAccording to officials, CALEA was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations and is the international gold standard in public safety evaluation.

In October 2023, officials said, CALEA Assessor Dennis Nelson completed his four-day on-site assessment. In his final report, he noted Sheriff James M. Gannon and the entire Morris County Sheriff’s Office are committed to the accreditation process.

All officers interviewed were knowledgeable and engaged in their job function, officials stated, and this translated into accreditation being embedded in the culture of the Office.

Assessor Nelson added that this is clearly an important aspect to the Sheriff, and it shows throughout the agency, as everyone’s performance is as natural as breathing, officials say. 

This on-site review was the final step in achieving reaccreditation, which also included reviewing policies, practices, and processes against internationally accepted public safety standards.

Officials said Sheriff Gannon remarked how thankful he was for the detailed and thorough report given by Assessor Nelson and CALEA.

Sheriff Gannon said, “We welcomed Assessor Nelson to come in. It is important for an agency to have oversight by an outside source. Accreditation has been prescribed over the years, and because of that, it becomes a part of the agency’s DNA.”

Sheriff Gannon remarked how the MCSO becomes the subject matter expert in specialized disciplines of law enforcement, officials say. 

The agency is often looked to for assistance and resources, and as such, it is a “yes” organization, Morris County officials said. 

According to officials, when the request is made, MCSO delivers, and through training and execution and repeated training and execution, performance becomes second nature.

Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll remarked, “I am pleased to learn that the Morris County Sheriff’s Office has again achieved recertification by the prestigious Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. I have no doubt that the MCSO would satisfy all the applicable standards for accreditation, knowing that the MCSO leadership under Sheriff Gannon has developed a model of good and responsive law enforcement for all their operations."

"Sheriff Gannon is an outstanding example of what a law enforcement officer should be: highly intelligent and principled, scrupulously honest, and absolutely dedicated to the best standards of his profession. He has innovated new community and criminal justice programs that have become the model not only in New Jersey but, indeed, nationally."

"Sheriff Gannon is also universally recognized as a respected leader who believes in teamwork by coordinating law enforcement resources to maximize the protection of all our citizens. I am proud to call him my friend and partner in confronting crime in Morris County, and I can say that there is no better officer in law enforcement than Jim Gannon.”

Morris Plains Police Chief Michael Koroski stated, “On behalf of the Morris County Chiefs Association and all Morris County Chiefs of Police, congratulations to Sheriff Gannon and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office as they have achieved this milestone of their eighth consecutive CALEA reaccreditation. Having been an accreditation manager, I know the effort that goes into achieving the accreditation status. The Morris County Chiefs of Police value our partnership with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the invaluable services they provide."Ad"From crime scene processing, the assistance of K-9, community outreach services such as Hope One and RSVP3, and active shooter training, the municipal law enforcement agencies of Morris County could not serve our communities at the high level we do without each and every member of the Sheriff’s Office providing critical support. All of Morris County should know our citizens are provided with top-notch, best-practice services by Sheriff James Gannon and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.”

Sheriff Gannon stated, “I am so very thankful to all the personnel of the Bureau of Law Enforcement who, day in and day out, deliver the level of professionalism expected of the people of Morris County and outlined in the CALEA accreditation process. I especially want to thank our accreditation team of Detective Lieutenant Tracy Medwin, Sergeant Travis Somerville, Corporal Laura Bertelli, and Sheriff’s Officer Ashley Craig for their exceptional work in attaining this very notable accomplishment.”

Authorities say the MCSO adheres to 461 policy standards ensuring the agency operates within best practices, and the agency was reported to be strong in the delivery of services to the public and strong in the recruitment and retention of officers.

The MCSO is a triple crown award recipient, officials stated. 

Officials said the agency is accredited in corrections standards by the American Correctional Association (ACA), correctional health care standards through the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC), law enforcement accreditation through CALEA, and is certified by the HIGHLANDS Group as a top agency meeting the industry standards in crime scene investigation (the first in New Jersey).AdAccording to officials, Sheriff Gannon continues to invite scrutiny from these gold-standard organizations as a way of “kicking the tires,” and the agency is consistently seeking the input of municipal, county, state, and federal partners as well.

He meets regularly and individually with all 328 members of his staff to gauge his performance and seek better processes for what we do, officials said. 

Ultimately, however, officials say, the citizens of Morris County appear at the apex of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office's organizational table.