GSP police get high marks from commission on accreditation

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, March 31, 2014

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GSP police keep traffic moving and encourage visitors to not leave their vehicles.

Jim Fair

GSP police keep traffic moving and encourage visitors to not leave their vehicles.

• GSP to meet with FAA

• Airport police get high marks

GSP Police Chief Bobby Welborn gave the airport commissioners a good report and they returned the favor Monday at the bi-month meeting.

The airport law enforcement agency was unanimously awarded as one of 11 in the United States to be credentialed by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The purpose of the agency is to improve internal functions of the GSP police force and:

• Strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities,

• Formalize essential management procedures,

• Establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices,

• Improve service delivery,

• Solidify interagency cooperation and coordination

• Increase community and staff confidence in the agency.

Commission chairperson Minor Shaw asked Welborn what he attributed the accreditation. “Training hours have increased the past two years and the department personnel mirrored the population demographics,” Welborn said were two of the most significant factors in his department’s favor.

GSP first sought accreditation in 2004.

Welborn, former captain of the Spartanburg Police Department, and chief at several upstate universities, said a lot of his past officers or recommendations from law enforcement has guided a better quality of hires. “My philosophy is you go for who is the best person for the job. My former officers do reconnect but they go through the same process.”

“It’s harder to get this accreditation, it costs more money, its more time consuming and if you say you are going to adhere to the standards they (CALEA) will come in and find out if you doing as you say,” Welborn said. “People think it is more restrictive but it isn’t.”

Welborn said his staff has rewritten its manifest. As part of reaccreditation, an onsite assessment was held in December 2013. A total of 332 standards were reviewed with no discrepancies found. CALEA agencies must be in compliance with 80 percent of the non-mandatory standards. The GSP Police Department was found to be in compliance with 88 percent of these standards.

The sergeants are based at the baggage claim at night,” Welborn said. I tell them to follow the crowd. There’s nobody around except the people picking up their baggage that late. We offer to walk them to their car and we can show them where the rental car agency is located.”

And that is when Welborn received the best compliment he could have wished for his department. Shaw described returning to GSP late one evening with family members and being asked by two officers how they could help, not knowing her stature as commission chairperson. They were as nice and helpful,” Shaw said.

"We try to be as public minded as we can be,” Welborn said.





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