What is the GACP State Certification Program?

The GACP State Certification Program is time tested measure to assist law enforcement agencies assess, calculate and improve their overall performance. The bedrock of this certification program is grounded in standards that promulgate clear and concise statements of professional objectives. Law enforcement agencies that decide to achieve this award must put themselves thorough a tedious self-examination of the department’s policies and procedures and define their operations to comport to the GACP certification standards.  Once the agency has conducted their self- examination, a trained team of assessors visits the agency to confirm that the agency has adopted & executed policies and procedure that meet the GACP standards. After the assessors complete their work at the agency, a report is sent by the lead assessor to a joint executive committee that reviews findings of assessors.  The joint committee reviews the lead assessors’ findings found in his report and vote to accept the recommendations and approve the agency for the state certification award. Certification status represents a significant professional achievement. Certification acknowledges the implementation of policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective (GACP, 2014).

What are the Benefits of Certification & Accreditation?

  • An affirmation and acknowledgement that a law enforcement agency operates using best practices to conduct progressive law enforcement services.
  • Certification provides for greater operational & administrative effectiveness which creates better accountability within the agency.
  • Certification provides to personnel a better understanding of policy and procedures through enhanced training and responsibility.
  • Certification provides a sense of accomplishment which increases public confidence and governmental support for the agency.
  • Certification provides the potential risk reduction and less exposure to liability. 

UWG Police State Assessment

The University of West Georgia Police Department started its official quest for state certification on October 5, 2011 when Dr. Beheruz Sethna and Chief of Police Thomas J Mackel executed an agreement with the Georgia Association Chiefs of Police to obtain state certification. Chief Mackel appointed Lt. G.E. “Ned” Watson to lead the development and implementation of this project.  Two years later, on December 11, 2013 a group of three GACP assessors from different law enforcement agencies in Georgia came to the University of West Georgia campus to conduct an on-site assessment of the UWG Police Department.  They inspected the department’s policies and procedures and accompanied officers in the field to observe their work.  After the assessor’s inspection of the department, an exit interview was conducted by Major Anthony Coleman (lead assessor) to UWG President Kyle Marrero, Vice President Jim Sutherland, Chief of Police Tom Mackel, and Lt. Ned Watson. Major Coleman advised Dr. Marrero and company that the assessment team had completed their work and that the University of West Georgia Police Department has successfully completed the state certification program with all policies and procedure to be compliant with all 129 standards contained within the certification program.  Major Coleman announced to the group that his report would be recommending to the joint executive committee that the University of West Georgia Police Department be awarded state certification.