Office of Professional Standards
Major Freddie Blackmon began his career as a Patrol Officer on April 7, 1986. As a Patrol Officer, he served in the 911 Center, Patrol Division, Gang Task Force, and Tactical Squad. As a Detective, he worked in the Vice/Narcotics Squad. After his promotion to Sergeant, he served in the Patrol Division, Vice/Narcotics Squad, Metro Narcotics Task Force, the Juvenile Diversion Unit, and the Training Division. Upon his promotion to Lieutenant, he worked in the Patrol Division, Robbery/Homicide Squad, and Training Division. Also, he was assigned to the Crisis Negotiation Team and he was the Commander for the Mobile Field Force Team. After his promotion to Captain, he was assigned as Personnel Director for the Columbus Police Department. As a Major, he is in charge of the Office of Professional Standards. This assignment carries a responsibility of managing internal investigations, maintaining the department’s accreditation status, conducting planning and research projects and managing criminal intelligence.
Major Blackmon has a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Troy State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Troy State University. Also, he completed Management Development Training through the University of Georgia, Leadership Columbus and graduated from the 265th session of the FBI National Academy.
The Office of Professional Standards is charged with the responsibility of assuring the department maintains high standards and integrity. The Office of Professional Standards conducts internal investigations and staff inspections. Also, the Office of Professional Standards ensures the department complies with accreditation and certification standards, completes planning and research assignments, and maintains a criminal intelligence unit. The Office of Professional Standards is staffed with a major, lieutenant, four sergeants, three crime analysts, and an administrative secretary.
The Office of Professional Standards also maintains data and completed reports concerning complaints, uses of force, and vehicle pursuits. For more information concerning this data refer to the department's annual report.
The Office of Professional Standards investigates complaints and violations of orders and regulations concerning employees of the Columbus Police Department as directed by the Chief of Police. The Office of Professional Standards also investigates any discharge of a firearm by an employee.
When the Office of Professional Standards is assigned a complaint by the Chief of Police, it is responsible for conducting a thorough, impartial and accurate investigation.
The Office of Professional Standards also conducts special studies or investigations as directed by the Chief of Police. Such special studies or investigations are situations or circumstances that, by nature, require particular prudence or discretion deemed necessary by the Chief of Police.
The Office of Professional Standards conducts quarterly inspections of the Budget Office and two yearly inspections of the Evidence Rooms. The Office of Professional Standards also conducts other staff inspections or studies within the department as assigned by the Chief of Police. The results of staff inspections are reported to the Chief of Police.
The Columbus Police Department was initially accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 1993 and has maintained CALEA accreditation ever since. The process of accreditation has involved yearly reporting to CALEA and periodic on-site assessments. During the on-site assessments, the public is invited to provide feedback regarding the department. The department has been granted re-accreditation seven times since its initial accreditation and its most recent re-accreditation was in March of 2017. CALEA currently reviews electronic files every year to ensure the agency is maintaining compliance with the standards. CALEA sets forth 460 standards for law enforcement agencies. Out of the approximately 18,000 agencies in the United States, there are currently less than 700 agencies awarded law enforcement accreditation from CALEA. There are approximately 50 law enforcement agencies in Georgia that are accredited through CALEA.
The department also receives certification through the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP). The department first received certification in 1999 and has maintained certification ever since. The process involves yearly reporting to the GACP and periodic on-site assessments. The department has received five re-certifications since 1999 and its most recent re-certification was in July of 2016. Out of the approximately 630 agencies in Georgia, there are currently less than 150 agencies certified by the GACP.
Planning and Research
The Planning and Research function is important for developing, updating, and analyzing the future strategies in law enforcement for the Police Department. The Planning and Research function is the source of information and the focal point for budget developments, forms control, strategic operational planning, and information management. All planning proposals emanate from the Planning and Research function to the Chief of Police.
Criminal Intelligence Unit
The Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Columbus Police Department is responsible for collecting, retaining, disseminating, and the final disposition of criminal intelligence information. The Intelligence Unit Officer-in-Charge (OIC) is the Department liaison with other law enforcement agencies for the exchange of intelligence information under the provisions specified.
The function of the CIU is to gather information from any source in a manner consistent with the law and analyze received information to provide strategic, tactical and/or operational intelligence on the existence, identities, and capabilities of criminal suspects and enterprises. It is also the function of the CIU to detect and disrupt criminal activities, to include matters of Homeland Security.
The CIU is responsible for the direction of intelligence operations, coordination of personnel, collection, evaluation, collation, analysis, and the dissemination of intelligence information collected by or forwarded to the Columbus Police Department.
In addition to intelligence, the CIU performs crime analysis. This involves analyzing data associated with all criminal activity dealt with by the department. Data from traffic, patrol, and investigative services is gathered for analysis. This data may be gathered from computer sources or from actual reports.