Accreditation is a large and important aspect of the Bluffton Police Department. The men and women of the department have worked very hard to become dual accredited with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation Inc. (SCLEA). The department was first granted accreditation status at the 88th CALEA Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2009 and re-accredited in 2012, 2015 and 2018. The Bluffton Police Department continues to strive to meet the high expectations that CALEA and SCLEA set. To maintain accreditation status, a large amount of internal review takes place.


The purpose of CALEA and the process law enforcement agencies go through to obtain the honor is to raise the professional standards of the agency. The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was the first credentialing program established by CALEA after its founding.

The Purpose of the Program

It was originally developed to address what was seen as a need to enhance law enforcement as a profession and to improve law enforcement. That mission continues today. The program is open to all types of law enforcement agencies, on an international basis. It provides a process to systematically conduct an internal review and assessment of the agencies’ policies and procedures, and make adjustments wherever necessary to meet a body of internationally accepted standards.

Standard for the Program

Since the first CALEA Accreditation Award was granted in 1984, the program has become the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement. The standard upon which the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is based, reflect the current thinking and experience of law enforcement practitioners and researchers. Major law enforcement associations, leading educational and training institutions, governmental agencies, as well as law enforcement executives internationally, acknowledge CALEA’s Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies© and its Accreditation Program as benchmarks for today’s law enforcement agency.