Date: December 4, 2000 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Sterling Ivey, 863 534-6377 or 819-0221 pager
Sheriff's Office Receives International Law Enforcement Re-Accreditation

The Polk County Sheriff's Office has completed the requirements to be re-accredited by the Commission On Accreditation For Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (C.A.L.E.A.). Compliance with Commission standards has been reviewed and verified by C.A.L.E.A. staff and a team of their assessors. The Polk County Sheriff's Office received its' original accreditation from C.A.L.E.A. in November of 1997. There are only 52 C.A.L.E.A. Accredited Sheriff's offices/departments in the United States out of over 3,200, placing the Polk County Sheriff's Office in the tip 1.625% in the nation. 

Representatives from the Sheriff's Office attended an accreditation hearing at the C.A.L.E.A. Commission meeting, Saturday, December 2, 2000 for the formal presentation of the re-accreditation certificate. 

The assessment team consisted of Chief Deputy Larry Schultz from Rockford, Illinois and Captain David La Grange from Savannah, Georgia. Both members of the team were experienced law enforcement professionals, having previous on-site, inspection experience. The following are direct comments made by Chief Deputy Schultz, who was the assessment team leader: 
"The agency is very well equipped with current up-to-date equipment utilizing most modern techniques." 
"Community oriented police initiatives are very successful. The philosophy is taken very seriously by Sheriff Crow and his command staff and is practiced agency wide producing positive results." 
"There was no indication the anything was 'staged' for the benefit of the assessment team. Employees seemed pleased to be associated with the agency and spoke with pride regarding their status as members of an accredited agency." 

The assessors chose to attend a uniform patrol briefing in Southwest Lakeland. The assessors advised C.A.L.E.A. of the following: 
"The briefing was attended by thirteen well equipped, friendly and professional appearing uniformed deputies and two sergeants. Lieutenant Brain Garrett led the briefing prepared the shift for their tour of duty. The shift briefing was orderly and efficient. Officers in attendance were enthusiastic and shared knowledge with each other on materials introduced at the briefing. During this particular briefing, there was a good exchange of information and dialogue between the deputies and their supervisors concerning a recent series of burglaries in a business area. Deputy Richard Davis detailed his plan for a 'stake-out' of the business area which was authorized by his shift supervisor." 

The assessors noted throughout their assessment that they met several find men and women of high caliber within the agency who were examples of professionalism. Members related to the assessors that they are extremely proud of the Polk County Sheriff's Office, and of the emphasis it places on professionalism. Assessors found the Polk County Sheriff's Office to be in compliance with all applicable C.A.L.E.A. standards. 

The assessors have recommended two agency programs as exemplary: 
* PROCAP (Proactive Community Attack on Problems) which was started in 1997, and 
* In Progress Shootings At Schools & Other Facilities which was developed in 1998. The Sheriffs Office has provided a comprehensive scenario based training program to all law enforcement deputies with the agency and is also providing the training to other municipal agencies within Polk County. 

Other programs which have previously received this recognition include S.A.V.E. (Substance Abuse and Violence Education), Victim/Witness 9-1-1 Telephone Program, and the Boot Camp. 

In summary, the assessors advised C.A.L.E.A. of the following: 
"The assessment team is completely satisfied that the agency is in compliance with all applicable standards for review and the citizens of Polk County Florida are served by a professional law enforcement agency. This is easily observable throughout the agency. Once can simply point to the agency's commitment to the principles of philosophy of Community Oriented Policing which demonstrates the agency's sincere commitment to provide the best possible law enforcement to its citizens." 
"Sheriff Crow has done an outstanding job leading his agency. His philosophy of excellence is demonstrated throughout the agency. It was obvious that the agency considers the accreditation process a very important of their daily operations. The agency can best be described as living and breathing the spirit of accreditation." 
"The Polk County Sheriff's Office had an excellent on-site and the assessment team recommends that the Polk County Sheriff's Office be awarded re-accreditation."

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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