Date: March 14, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Aaron Flint, (863) 534-6377 or 502-8262 pager

Polk County Sheriff's Office; First Law Enforcement Agency In The Nation To Earn Purchasing Accreditation

Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. is pleased to announce that the Polk County Sheriff's Office has earned the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing's (NIGP) Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award. 

In doing so, the Sheriff's Office has become the first governmental agency in Polk County to earn the NIGP Accreditation, and the first law enforcement agency in the United States and Canada to obtain the NIGP Accreditation.

There are two accreditation tiers offered within the NIGP program.  The Agency Accreditation Achievement Award is presented to those agencies demonstrating excellence in public procurement.  However, the Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award that the Polk County Sheriff's Office earned recognizes those agencies who lead the public procurement profession.

In a letter submitted to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, NIGP Chief Executive Officer Rick Grim (CPPO, CPPB) states:

Many governmental agencies have attempted to achieve this Accreditation status - only to realize that their practices fall  short of the required standards of performance.  While the NIGP membership represents 2,100 governmental agencies throughout the United States and Canada, only 40 governments have attained this distinction. Clearly, the Polk County Sheriff's Office has joined an elite group of purchasing organizations that represent the highest standards of quality and efficiency in government.

Steve Howard (CPPO,CPPB), PCSO Purchasing Administrator who is recognized for his efforts in obtaining the NIGP Accreditation, states, “The criteria for earning this accreditation was very stringent.  We had to meet 84 different standards.  However, all of the hard work was well worth it.  This accreditation will help the Sheriff's Office tremendously.  It will have a significant impact on agency credibility, recognition and improved bond ratings.”

By earning its fifth accreditation star, the Polk County Sheriff's Office becomes one of the few five star  accredited agencies in the nation.  According to Sheriff Crow:

This is truly a milestone for our agency.  The fact that we have earned five separate professional accreditations is a testament to the quality and professionalism of our members. I am so proud of our purchasing section  - they work hard every day to provide high quality equipment and supplies for our deputies at the lowest cost possible to our citizens. They deserve this recognition.  

Prior to its latest accreditation from the NIGP, the Sheriff's Office had earned state accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA), international accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), detention accreditation from the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC), and health care accreditation from the National Commission for Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).

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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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