Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards. There are over 250 standards set by the Commission for Law Enforcement accreditation which is 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.
The Administrative Support Unit is responsible for the management of the law enforcement accreditation process. Additional responsibilities and duties that support accreditation management include staff inspections, general and specialized audits, and the writing and monitoring of departmental policies and procedures. These activities ensure that the Department meets and continues to comply with some 276 state standards set forth by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA).
In March 1999, the Department initially earned national accredited status from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (C.A.L.E.A.). In Spring 2002, the Department chose to pursue state accreditation through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). Through an alliance with CFA, the National Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., offers recognition to agencies that meet approved core standards through the state accreditation process.
The Gainesville Police Department was awarded CFA accredited status with CALEA recognition in Pensacola, Florida, on October 2, 2002. In 2006, the Department was awarded a certificate or reaccreditation from CFA.
Brief History of the Accrediting Bodies:
CFA: 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 that 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, and the Judiciary. The Commission meets quarterly to oversee the accreditation program and to officially accredit agencies that have passed the rigorous review process.
CALEA: Sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (C.A.L.E.A.) was founded in 1979. The purpose of the Commission was to convene a group of law enforcement professionals who could affect the direction, image and quality of their profession by establishing a nationally-recognized set of professional standards by which law enforcement agencies willingly comply.
Accreditation Goals: The goals of the accreditation process include increased confidence in the goals, objectives, policies and practices of the agency; the enhancement of capabilities in the prevention and control of crime; increased effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of services; and increased cooperation with the community and other law enforcement agencies.
Benefits: Agencies that choose to go through the process and comply with state standards gain professionalism and recognition. When an agency improves its methods and services, it builds understanding, confidence, and morale within the agency and with the citizens it serves. It also promotes professional relationships within the law enforcement and criminal justice communities. The accreditation process establishes norms by which agency performance can be measured, primarily through written directives that become the reference by which action is taken and tasks accomplished. The process also develops personnel systems, such as selection, hiring, internal discipline, and others, to become effective, responsive, fair and equitable.
Corporal Renee Nichols
Phone: (352) 393-7528
The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation
3504 Lake Lynda Drive Suite 380
Orlando Fl 32817