PCSO is the only agency in the United States to have received three “Accreditation with Excellence" awards from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), for Law Enforcement, Public Safety Communications, and for Polk State College’s Public Safety Training Academy
Out of 17,985 law enforcement agencies in the United States[i], the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is the only agency to have received three “Accreditation with Excellence" awards from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). The most recent awarding of the Accreditation with Excellence occurred on March 22, 2014 for the Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program accreditation of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center (ECC) near Winter Haven.
“We were told then that it was extraordinarily rare for a police agency to have been awarded two ‘excellence’ designations, and here we were receiving our third,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “So, we did some research, and we discovered we were the only law enforcement agency in the nation to have three. I am so proud of our agency members—this is their recognition. We are literally the most highly accredited agency in the nation.”
In 2011, CALEA began awarding the “Accreditation with Excellence” distinction to agencies that already hold at least two consecutive CALEA accreditations (among other requirements – see below).
· On November 17, 2012, PCSO received its first “Accreditation with Excellence” award during its CALEA re-accreditation;
· On March 23, 2013, the Polk State College Kenneth C. Thompson Institute for Public Safety, with which PCSO partners, was re-accredited and received an “Accreditation with Excellence” award;
· On March 22, 2014, the PCSO ECC received re-accreditation from the Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program, and along with it an “Accreditation with Excellence” award.
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 CALEA for its law enforcement operations. Since that time the Sheriff’s Office has accumulated and maintained eight professional accreditations. There have been a total of 37 accreditations and re-accreditations since 1994. “That’s 37 times we have opened 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 and is a highly valued recognition for any law enforcement agency. The following is a history of 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
The intent of the CALEA® Accreditation with Excellence Award is to provide agencies an opportunity to be further recognized for the effective use of accreditation as a model for the delivery of enhanced public safety services and management professionalism.
The criteria for the CALEA Accreditation with Excellence Award are:
· Must have a minimum of two previous consecutive CALEA Accreditation awards.
· Must not have conditions or noncompliance issues resulting from the current or last assessment.
· Current assessment must have been conducted under the CALEA® Gold Standard Assessment model.
· At the time of the current assessment, the agency must be in compliance with 90 percent of all applicable other-than-mandatory standards.
· Current Assessment Report must have limited file maintenance and not more than two applied discretion issues.
· Must not be operating under any active Federal Consent Decree or Memorandum of Understanding, or state-level complementary action.
· Must not currently be affected by issues that detract from the overall tenets or goals of CALEA Accreditation.
· Must receive a unanimous recommendation of support from the assigned CALEA Review Committee.
[i] Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA), Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice