An Accreditation Program has long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards.
In 1993, Florida Statute 943.125 directed that the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association create a voluntary law enforcement accreditation program.
Representatives from these Associations developed a process for accreditation which required compliance with more than 250 professional standards designed specifically for Florida law enforcement agencies. The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. was formed, comprised of four sheriffs, four chiefs, and one representative each from the Association of Counties, the League of Cities, the State Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association, and the Judiciary. The Commission meets quarterly to oversee the accreditation program and to officially accredit agencies that have passed the rigorous review process.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) facilitates, coordinates and manages the State accreditation process. For more information on Florida Accreditation, visit flaccreditation.org.
To be accredited an agency must meet hundreds of standards established by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. These standards address all facets of the agency including administration, internal affairs operations, investigations, patrol, personnel, training, traffic, response to resistance and more.
The Accreditation function is responsible for ensuring that areas of the department remain in compliance with specific standards as set forth by the State of Florida. The community and the department benefit from this process because it reinforces an agency’s ability to maintain the highest standards of law enforcement services that represent current professional practices. The benefits of accreditation are numerous and affect many areas of a law enforcement organization as well as the community in which they serve.
- Provides for State and Nationwide recognition of the desire for continued professional excellence
- Requires a continuous in-depth review of the organization, management, operations and administration of the department
- Ensures a systematic evaluation of policies and procedures
- Mandates clearly articulated policies and procedures manuals
- Contributes to improved communication and coordination with other law enforcement agencies and other branches of the criminal justice system
- Allows for continuous access to information, trends and updates relevant to modern law enforcement practices
- Ensures department members that every aspect of the personnel system is in accord with professional standards and is both fair and equitable
- Increases employee confidence in the organization
- Commits the agency to a broad range of programs that directly benefit the public
- Increases community understanding, confidence and support
- Deters litigation and lawsuits by citizens
- Requires the agency accountable to the Commission. And must stay in compliance with the in order to retain accreditation status