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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Jul. 8, 2010 7 years ago

Maitland City Talk

By Douglas T. Kinson

Maitland's PD achieves Accreditation

Not a day goes by when I am not proud of the hard working men and women in Maitland. Today, congratulations go to the Maitland Police Department on their accomplishments in achieving accreditation status. Congratulations and thanks to Deputy Chief Bill McEachnie for his contributions to this week's City Talk.

—Mayor Doug Kinson

An accreditation program has long been 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. Schools, universities and hospitals are some of the most well-known organizations that are required to maintain accreditation. Law enforcement agencies in Florida can now attain accredited status through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation Inc.

In 1993, Florida Statute 943.125 directed that the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association create a voluntary law enforcement accreditation program. Representatives from these associations developed a process for accreditation, which required compliance with about 250 professional standards designed specifically for Florida law enforcement agencies. The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation Inc. was formed, comprised of four sheriffs, four chiefs of police, and one representative each from the Association of Counties, the League of Cities, the State Law Enforcement Chiefs' Association, the judiciary and the Inspectors General. The Commission meets three times per year to oversee the accreditation program and to officially accredit agencies that have passed the rigorous review process.

On Thursday, July 1, the Maitland Police Department was awarded reaccreditation by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation during the Commission's meeting in Bonita Springs. This prestigious recognition was obtained after the Commission voted unanimously to award reaccreditation to our Police Department. The Commission further stated that the Maitland Police Department demonstrated that they were a professional law enforcement agency that was in full compliance with the Commission's standards. This was the third time our Police Department was awarded reaccreditation after receiving their initial accreditation in 2000. Our city is one of only four agencies of the county's eleven that is accredited, and we were one of the first agencies in Central Florida to receive this prestigious award.

The city was represented by Chief Doug Ball, Deputy Chief Bill McEachnie, Lt. John Schardine, Lt. Jonni Schardine, City Manager Jim Williams and Vice Mayor Howard Schieferdecker. The accreditation process requires the Department to maintain compliance with 245 different standards of professional and best practice standards that ensure an agency is operating with the highest standards. The accreditation process has many benefits for our residents including increasing the Department's ability to prevent and control crime, increasing our citizens' confidence, providing for streamlined operations that assure the uniformity of services at cost effective rates, and that every operation of the Department is conducted based on professional standards and best practices.

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