Sheriff’s Office achieves law enforcement accreditation

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By Capt. Jim Burton

Most people know that hospitals, universities, and schools are accredited. In fact accredited organizations are usually sought out for enrollment and services. But did you know that law enforcement agencies are also accredited?

I reported and some of you were involved in our recent journey to achieve the Sterling Award. We are the first stand-alone police agency to achieve this award in the state of Florida and we are very proud.

I also want to tell you all about our accredited status which we have maintained in law enforcement and correction since the program began. Every three years, since 2000, our Correction Bureau has achieved accredited status. Every three years, since 1996, our Law Enforcement bureaus have also achieved accredited status.

The accreditation process includes onsite inspections and reviews. Just to name a few, there are 272 standards reviewed for law enforcement, 123 are mandatory with 118 non-mandatories. There are 243 standards reviewed for corrections, 97 are mandatory and 146 non-mandatory.

The review is done by an independent team through accreditation in part they review:

3 Establishment of our goals and objectives.

3 Re-evaluation of our resources to insure they are in accord with our objectives and mission.

3 Accreditation serves as a “yard stick” to measure the effectiveness of agency’s services and programs and insure uniformity of services.

Some of the benefits to the community of having an accredited agency are that it increases the agency’s ability to prevent and control crime through the more efficient delivery of law enforcement services. The community can have more confidence in the policies and practices of its agency which is part of the independent review process which are considered industry standards.

Capt. Jim Burton is the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Southwest District Commander. For information, call 402-6060.