“The men and women of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office continue to meet the challenge of setting a high professional standard,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “Out of 17,985 law enforcement agencies in the United States[i], the PCSO is the only agency to have received three “Accreditation with Excellence" awards from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). And today, the PCSO received its 9th Accreditation from the Florida Police Accreditation Coalition. This achievement is more than PCSO members just doing a good job, it represents the fact that our members always go above and beyond setting the bar for others to reach.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received its ninth independent professional accreditation on Thursday, February 26, 2015. The award will be presented by the Florida Telecommunications Accreditation Commission; a program of the Florida Police Accreditation Coalition (FLA-PAC). This network of 250 law-enforcement agencies recognizes and supports accreditation as a means of enhancing the quality of law-enforcement services within Florida. The PCSO is among six Florida law enforcement agencies to hold this award.
The FLA-PAC establishes standards and oversees the accreditation program awarding accreditation to those Florida Communication Centers for law enforcement, Fire/Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services which meet or exceed the organization’s 116 best practice standards.
“In 2014, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office answered the phone every 37 seconds,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “The ability to maintain a high level of professionalism and expertise while receiving and dispatching calls for service was readily seen and noted by the assessors during their final remarks—they said: ‘all members exhibited commitment and dedication to their profession.’”
The PCSO Emergency Communications Center has received three separate professional accreditations, both national and state recognitions, since 2002.
Nationally, the Public Safety Communications Program first accredited the PCSO ECC in 2002. In 2014, the Public Safety Communications Program reaccredited the PCSO ECC and awarded an “Accreditation with Excellence.” The PCSO holds three “Accreditation with Excellence” awards from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), and is the only law enforcement agency in the United States to hold that distinction. [i]
The Emergency Communications Center is also accredited by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch, being awarded initial accreditation in April 2010 and earning reaccreditation in April 2013.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has had a longtime commitment to professional accreditation dating back to 1994, when the PCSO was first accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., or CALEA, for its law enforcement operations. There have been a total of 38 accreditations and re-accreditations since 1994.
“We continue to open our agency to scrutiny from outside independent organizations whose job it is to make sure we are adhering to best practices in a wide range of areas, from law enforcement and detention operations to purchasing, training, and medical services,” said Sheriff Judd. “We believe in transparency, innovation, and professional development so that we not only stay up with the latest best practices, but that we are ahead of the curve & leading the way among law enforcement agencies.”
Accreditation is a voluntary process that invites independent accrediting bodies to inspect and review agency policies and practices to determine if the agency is following state and national standards and best practices. Accreditation is a highly valued recognition for any law enforcement agency. The following is a history of all nine accreditations awarded to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office:
CALEA - Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
- Original Accreditation: 11/19/1994
- Re-accreditation: 11/19/1997
- Re-accreditation: 11/19/2000
- Re-accreditation: 11/19/2003
- Re-accreditation: 11/19/2006 - Flagship Designation
- Re-accreditation: 11/19/2009 - Flagship Designation
- Re-accreditation: 11/17/2012 - Accreditation with Excellence
PSCA - Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program (CALEA)
- Accredited: 3/23/2002
- Re-accreditation: 3/23/2005
- Re-accreditation: 3/23/2008
- Re-accreditation: 3/26/2011 - Flagship Designation
- Re-accreditation: 3/22/2014 - Accreditation with Excellence
CFA - Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc.
- Accredited: 5/27/1998
- Re-accreditation: 5/23/2001
- Re-accreditation: 6/23/2004
- Re-accreditation: 6/06/2007
- Re-accreditation: 7/01/2010
- Re-accreditation: 6/27/2013 - Excelsior Agency
FCAC - Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc.
- Accredited: 10/3/2000
- Re-accreditation: 10/07/2003
- Re-accreditation: 10/10/2006
- Re-accreditation: 10/27/2009
- Re-accreditation: 9/25/2012
NIGP - National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc.
- Original Accreditation: 3/1/2002
- Re-accreditation: 3/1/2005
- Re-accreditation: 3/1/2008
- Re-accreditation: 3/1/2011
- Re-accreditation: 3/1/2014 Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award
NCCHC - National Commission on Correctional Health Care
- Original Accreditation: 1985
- Re-accreditation: February 2006
- Re-accreditation: February 2009
- Re-accreditation: November 2012
PSTAA - Public Safety Training Academy Accreditation Program (CALEA)
- The Polk State College Kenneth C. Thompson Institute for Public Safety is a unique partnership enterprise between Polk State College & the Polk County Sheriff’s Office
- Initial Accreditation: 3/17/2007
- Re-accreditation: 3/17/2010
- Re-accreditation: 3/23/2013 Accreditation with Excellence
NAEMD - National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch
- Initial Accreditation: April 2010
- Re-accreditation: April 2013
FLA-PAC – Florida Police Accreditation Coalition / Florida Telecommunications Accreditation Commission: February 2015