Friday, March 1, 2024

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office recognized with national award

Sheriff Ed McMahon and County Commissioner Chairman Jonathan Barfield Jr. holding the CALEA gold standard certification. Photo by: James Mieczkowski


The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is now among the top five percent of local law enforcement agencies in the country, demonstrating the sheriff’s office use of best practices while providing a high level of service to county citizens.

In a press conference on Monday, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office along with the New Hanover County Commissioners announced the agency had earned national gold standard accreditation, ranking the department among the top five percent of local law enforcement in the country.

According to New Hanover County officials, the purpose of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies CALEA accreditation program is to not only to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of standards, but also to provide public safety agencies the opportunity to voluntarily demonstrate they meet an established set of professional standards.

The New Hanover office has introduced initiatives to protect their deputies along with creating transparent communication for county residents. This includes a resolution passed earlier this year funding 66 body cameras for sworn personnel in the sheriff’s office along with continuing to grow the citizen academy and community review programs— allowing for county residents to provide feedback to the Sheriff’s office. 

This is the first time the Sheriff’s office has received the national certification, which according to Sheriff Ed McMahon is more than three years in in the making.

“I’m proud to say that our agency now holds ourselves accountable to the best practices and policies nationally and internationally for law enforcement,” said McMahon.

“As far as the public is concerned we’re happy that we can now be held accountable to national and international standards of law enforcement.”

County Commissioner Chairman Jonathan Barfield Jr. presented the certification from CALEA to New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon, thanking him and his department for their service to the county.

“It is very gratifying to have an outside, independent commission examine our agency and agree that we are conducting business according to industry best practice. What a better way to hold ourselves accountable,” said Barfield. “I often call our sheriff the best sheriff this side of heaven, and he truly is…Our board of county commissioners are privileged and pleased to share this great honor with him.”

James Mieczkowski is a news reporter for Port City Daily. He can be reached at On Twitter: @mieczkowskiPCD

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