The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. (CFA) was established by charter on December 13, 1994 and incorporated on February 9, 1995. It is an independent, tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation designated as the accrediting body for Florida law enforcement, corrections, and Inspectors General Offices. The Commission’s purpose is to establish a program for accreditation that can be achieved by all Florida law enforcement, correctional agencies, and IG Offices.
Striving For Excellence - Florida Law Enforcement AccreditationOn January 23, 2014, The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. approved and executed the agreement for the City of Rockledge Police Department for initial accreditation process. Set to the same professional tone as accreditation programs required for schools, universities, and hospitals; the law enforcement accreditation program is recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards.
In order to be accredited, the agency must meet hundreds of standards as pertaining to life, safety, health, or “best practices” established by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. These standards address all facets of the agency including administration, internal affairs operations, investigations, patrol, personnel, training, traffic, response to resistance, bias-base profiling, and more.
In order to demonstrate compliance of the standards, the Police Department will undergo a three-day process with three independent law enforcement professionals from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. The process will include the assessors interviewing personnel, scrutinizing the physical facility and equipment, inspecting records and reviewing Department standard operating procedures, policies, and more. After an intense examination, the team of assessors will make a determination as to the agency’s compliance with the prescribed standards, submit a recommendation, and present an extensive, thorough report to the Commission, as ultimately the decision resides with the Commission Board.
Department personnel are diligently working to address and write policies pertaining to the compliance of all applicable standards. Once this process is complete, the agency will begin collecting “proofs” of compliance to present to the assessors. The “proofs” of compliance must encompass at least one calendar year of time as some audits and reviews are conducted on a monthly or quarterly basis. For these purposes, although the executed agreement allows for 24 months to prove compliance with all applicable standards, the Department goal is to prepare for the assessment to be conducted sometime between November 2014 and February 2015, surpassing the objective due date. This will allow the agency to attain initial Accreditation status at either the February 2015 or June 2015 ceremony at a regular Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation meeting. Once attained, the Certificate of Accreditation is awarded for a three year period, repeated thereafter in 3-year cycles of assessment processes.
Participation in the accreditation process is not “mandated” by the Commission, nor is it easy to attain, rather the assessment is elected by a law enforcement agencies’ voluntary participation to indicate to the communities they represent they have earned the recognition, are committed to professional law enforcement service, and strive to “do the right thing.”
The Department personnel’s hard work and intensive preparation for the accreditation assessment has come to fruition and met with success! The agency underwent the three-day accreditation onsite assessment April 28-30, 2015; went before the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation on Wednesday, June 24th; and attained initial law enforcement accredited status. The agency met compliance with 232 standards. Of those standards, 149 were mandatory standards (required per Florida Statute, Code of Federal Regulations, or Administrative Code), eighty-three (83) are non-mandatory standards or considered a best business practice, twenty-three (23) standards were non-applicable to the agency by function, and four (4) non-mandatory standards were elected as exemption. The final report from the Commission has been released and Commissioner Michelle Morris presented the Certificate of Accreditation to the City Council during the scheduled August 19th City Council Meeting. The Certificate of Accreditation is awarded for a three year period, repeated thereafter in 3-year cycles of assessment processes. The agency has already started preparing for the first re-accreditation status in 2018 by implementing the standard operating procedures and policies established during the preparation period - monthly and quarterly inspections, training, analyses, and have already brought into compliance the four (4) non-mandatory elected exempt standards. This professional status could not have been attained without the support of every Department Member, City Mayor, City Manager, City Council, and the Rockledge Community. Thank you!