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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 5, 2007

Lauderdale County Sherriff's Department First in State to Earn Accreditation

“You can’t have prosperity without law enforcement.”

Those were the words of Governor Haley Barbour as he addressed the Lauderdale County Sherriff’s Department (LCSD), Meridian officials, politicians and law enforcement supporters who gathered in Meridian on Thursday morning, July 5, 2007.

Governor and Mrs. Barbour congratulate Sherriff Sollie on achieving accreditation

The audience gave a standing ovation as Lauderdale County Sherriff Billy Sollie accepted a Certificate of Accreditation for his department.
The ovation recognized not only the efforts of the Sherriff, but the of the entire department as well.

Accreditation is the highest honor a law enforcement agency in Mississippi can attain.

In 2004, the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (called MSLEAC) was formed in July of 2004 with the support of Governor Barbour and state law enforcement officials.

MSLEAC uses a group of 157 standards to determine the effectiveness of each law enforcement agency applying for accreditation. The review is conducted by an unbiased group of former law enforcement personnel during a difficult audit process.

The LCSD passed their audit in early June of 2007. The LCSD is one of almost 100 law enforcement agencies across Mississippi who applied for accreditation, but Lauderdale County is the first to earn the prestigious honor.

Sherriff Sollie’s comments to the crowd?  He gave credit to his officers, many of whom were present for the ceremony, “There were almost one hundred agencies across the state who said they'd be the first but we are the ones standing here today. We got it and it is because of you."

Governor Barbour captured the mood of Lauderdale officials and residents when he said,
“I'm grateful there are men and women like these that work here for the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department to protect families and businesses. Sheriff Sollie and his staff have set the bar extremely high for others to follow.”