In Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday, March 26, 2011, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received the CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program prestigious Flagship Agency designation. The award was presented at CALEA’s reaccreditation ceremony which is held three times a year.
According to CALEA, the PCSO “has met the requirements of a highly regarded and broadly recognized body of public safety communications standards, and was accredited for a fourth time by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., on March 26, 2011.”
In order to be nominated as a Flagship Agency, a Sheriff’s Office or Police Department must have had three on-site assessments which demonstrated that the agency is the best of the best. The PCSO has exceeded that requirement with four accreditation on-site assessments. The agency obtained its first PSCA accreditation in 2002, and then the agency was reaccredited three more times: in 2005, in 2008, and this year.
“It takes everyone working together to make something like this happen,” said Sheriff Judd. “With eight professional accreditation awards, PCSO has long been recognized as an agency on the cutting edge within accreditation circles throughout the United States. The Flagship designation is a true honor, and we are the only Sheriff's Office in the nation who has achieved it in two separate categories.”
PCSO was also named a Flagship Agency for CALEA in 2006 and 2009, and with this second designation as a Flagship Agency for Public Safety Communications, the agency is one of only four law enforcement agencies in the nation with both the CALEA and PSCA Flagship designations (there are three police departments in the nation who have also earned them).
Accreditation is a voluntary process and is a highly valued recognition for any agency. PCSO is an eight star accredited agency which consists of:
- Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc
- Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program
- Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc.
- Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc.
- National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc.
- National Commission on Correctional Health Care
- Public Safety Training Academy Accreditation Program
- National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch